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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to Have Students Practice Presentation Skills While Teaching You About Technology

Today, at the New Teacher Academy at Boston College I answered some questions from teachers worried about students discovering more about technology than they could discover. The solution that I proposed is to have your students practice their presentation skills by showing off a "hidden feature" of their iPads, laptops, Chromebooks, or Android devices.

At the beginning of the school year when students receive devices from the school or bring their own devices to school for the first time, ask them to give a two or three minute presentation about their favorite hidden feature of their devices. Don't have them make slides. Have them hook-up to projector to give a short demonstration and explanation. Ask them to share what they like about their favorite hidden features and why those hidden features could have value to other students.

A tip for making this exercise comfortable for all of the students; resist the urge to let the demonstrations become a competition. This activity isn't about determining which students know the best "hidden features" it's about giving students practice speaking in front of their classmates while helping you their classmates learn about iPads, laptops, Chromebooks, or Android devices.

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