Wednesday, November 12, 2008

lovely, literally

Another drive-by, detail by literal detail:

What's your topic?'s right there. You're looking at it.

No. I'm not looking at it. I'm reading something. Something curvy and undulating.
So I should change the text?

Is it text? Or is it word art? Why did you choose to use word art?
So I'll change it.

But what's your topic? If it's his childhood, then why a grown up picture of him?
There are no pictures of him as a child.

Why does the picture have to be him?
But if it's not him, it's, well, it's not him.

Does it have to be him? An image of a child could work, right? You could use a rhetorical device to indicate that the picture is him, or isn't him. Depends on your comfort with humor.

Let's use Flickr's Creative Commons portal to search for a picture.

Mr. Rodoff, what do you think? I even gray-scaled it to make it look, um...older.

I think that's clearly not Shakespeare! He looks so sad. Why did you choose that picture?
Well, I'm going to talk about the relationship he had with his father next, and I didn't come across anything that conveyed happiness about that relationship, so I thought this image conveyed some emptiness.

So now that you've revamped your title slide, do you think this one fits?
Well, it has information.

Do the students 'need' that information? Are you testing on this information?
No, but how will they get this information without that slide?

But they'll want to read it. They won't want to listen to me.

But they should. And that's your responsibility. That's your task. They didn't choose to attend your presentation. Requirements for graduation dictated what class and when they'd attend, but whenever you are asked to present, it's up to you to gather their attention. Your slides will provide some visual reinforcement, some figurative extension, of what you are presenting.
So another image?

Sure. And since you went for the whole gray-scale thing that first time, I'd recommend following that style.
Flickr's Creative Commons?

What do you think?

I hope you know what you are going to say when you present.
I think I do.

I believe you.


Taylor said...

Wow. You're such a great teacher. I hope I can do that.

Sarah said...

Is this dialogue you revamping old slides or helping students with a presentation they're giving? (I thought it was the latter until the discussion about graduation requirements.)

Ken Rodoff said...

@taylor...I'm detecting (I don't know why...could it be something carrying over from your blog?!) some sarcasm.

@sarah...This happened about a week ago as students were creating four slides as part of presentations on Shakespeare (background knowledge).

In fact, this was the second time in the last six weeks that students were given chances to work on presentations and slide design.

They reverted to bad design habits quite quickly.

They're still clinging to the notion that the slides are for the presenters.

Sue I. said...

Ken, watched the archive of your webnar, read your blog. Awesome stuff!
I am thinking of how to tackle this exact same issue in my school.
Thanks for sharing.