Join Kevin Kelly for an in-depth discussion in this video Enhancing lectures or presentations, part of Teaching with Technology.
- Whether you find new digital content or make it yourself, it's common to use that content to enhance a lecture or presentation. That content might be anything, really: a data visualization, a video clip, a 3D object or image you can manipulate, or a collection of tweets. Let's take a look at some reasons and methods to do that. As for the reasons: improve your attention, save yourself time, increased interest and motivation, and emphasize description over depiction. And here are some of the methods: provide content for student review, incorporate reusable content, introduce real-world elements, vary media types, and use digital content to help convey complex ideas.
Humans are not like computers with multiple processors. We're not designed to multi-task. A scientific term for trying to multitask is continuous partial attention. In other words, we stop doing one thing briefly to do something else, and then go back again. Why is this important? Because teachers ask students to multitask all the time. Most students have not learned note-taking strategies so they try to write down everything that you write on the board or project on the screen. They cannot copy what you show them and listen to what you say about it.
This is one of the most powerful reasons to include digital content as part of your presentation, or to let students know you're recording it. Students can listen to everything you say, because they can review the digital content again later. Are there some class periods where you feel like you spend more time writing on the board than talking to your students? Maybe you need to share how to solve specific types of math or chemistry equations, or how to conjugate irregular verbs. Don't get me wrong. In some cases, it's valuable to model solving a math problem. It's up to you to decide how important it is to write something out in class versus referring to a digital resource and engaging students in activities designed to help them meet the learning outcomes.
If you teach the same content to multiple classes, then it makes sense to find or create media that you can use and reuse for each group of students. You can use digital content to introduce real-world elements to increase students' interest. In some cases, you might simply jump from your presentation to specific media, and back again. You might use interactive 3D models or short video clips to make a point or start a discussion. Other ways you can use digital content to increase interest include: add a tweet or several tweets, by thought leaders that emphasize a point, find cool data visualizations to start discussions.
To focus your energy on describing the content to your students, rather than writing or drawing it out, consider delivering a presentation through the digital media itself. For example, you might scroll through an infographic or digital timeline as you talk about each element. Or you might navigate around a concept map as you describe relationships between course concepts. I'm sure you already use digital media as part of the teaching and learning experience. Hopefully, this movie has expanded your thinking about the best use of your students' time and yours when you're in a class meeting.
Incorporating digital content might help students encode and retain concepts in your class. Before reviewing the next movie, take a minute to answer the following questions for yourself. Can you use digital content in different formats to improve students attention? Save yourself time? Increase interest and motivation? Or to emphasize explanation and discussion?
Author Kevin Kelly explains how learning outcomes can be adapted to support technology in the classroom, and guides educators through selecting the appropriate technology for their activity, module, or class. Then he shows how to apply technology in three key areas: finding, creating, and sharing content with students; facilitating classroom activities; and assessing learning inside the classroom or online.
- Including technology in your learning outcomes
- Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
- Finding and creating content and instructional materials
- Enhancing lectures and presentations with technology
- Getting students involved
- Facilitating in-class activities
- Assessing learning
- Teaching effectively online