Pin the Organ on the Human

August 29, 2013

(Disclaimer: No actual pins were used.)

A student from the audience (blue shirt) prepares to pin the large intestines.

Pinning the large intestines.

One of my student groups came up with an excellent way of presenting the organs of the digestive system in Biology class. They drew an outline of a person on the board and then had students in the audience stick drawings of the different organs onto the outline.

What worked particularly well was that they’d have someone from the class pin on the organ, and then they’d talk about it. This gave the presentation a nice rhythm, with a little break between each item.

The organs pinned on the human.

The organs pinned on the human.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2013. Pin the Organ on the Human, Retrieved July 21st, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Making Good Slideshows

June 15, 2013

Emiland De Cubber‘s excellent instructional on how to make good slideshows.

De Cubber also gives an excellent demonstration of how to fix a terrible slideshow by improving the NSA’s atrocious, leaked slideshow.

Sammy Medina

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2013. Making Good Slideshows, Retrieved July 21st, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Stop-Motion Recipe

December 31, 2011

I’ve always been in favor of alternate means of presenting information, especially for recipes.

Stop-Motion Biscuit Cake from Alan Travers on Vimeo.

(via The Dish)

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. Stop-Motion Recipe, Retrieved July 21st, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Multi-modal IRP’s

May 14, 2011

If I present information to you orally, you’ll probably only remember about 10% 72 hours after exposure, but if I add a picture, recall soars to 65%.

–Alex Lundry (2009): Chart Wars: The Political Power of Data Visualization

How you present visual information is important. And my students are discovering this as they work up their Independent Research Projects (IRP’s) this week.

In the spring they are fairly free to pick their topic and style of IRP. Some choose research projects, others term papers, and a few do things that strike their fancy, like writing fiction or programming games.

In the end, they submit a written report and give a presentation.

For research projects, I have one student who did a great job of coming up with a hypothesis and testing it. He even compiled a nice table of his data for his results section, but was reluctant to go through the effort of making a graph. After all, he claimed, anyone reading his report (or watching his PowerPoint presentation) could just look at the table and read the data off there themselves.

My response was that people absorb the data much more effectively when it’s presented graphically. Fortunately, Alex Lundry has a nice little presentation that reinforces this point. It also gives a few tips about what to look out for in graphics, because they can be used to mislead.

The key quote (via The Dish) is this:

Vision is our most dominant sense. It takes up 50% of our brain’s resources. And despite the visual nature of text, pictures are actually a superior and more efficient delivery mechanism for information. In neurology, this is called the ‘pictorial superiority effect’ […] If I present information to you orally, you’ll probably only remember about 10% 72 hours after exposure, but if I add a picture, recall soars to 65%. So we are hard-wired to find visualization more compelling than a spreadsheet, a speech of a memo.

–Alex Lundry (2009): Chart Wars: The Political Power of Data Visualization

Here’s Lundry’s five minute presentation.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. Multi-modal IRP's, Retrieved July 21st, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Captured by PowerPoint

May 24, 2010

“PowerPoint makes us stupid” – Gen. James N. Mattis

When we create presentations we combine multiple sources of information and reinterpret them in new ways. Presenting demonstrates more sophisticated learning. Yet as we we organize and categorize we fit the reinterpreted information into models and these models themselves impose their own logic. Models are defined by their own rigidity of organization and thinking that can straightjacket both the viewer and the creator of the presentation.

PowerPoint is a ubiquitous and powerful tool. Most of students favor it for their presentations. However, PowerPoint’s model requires breaking things down into bulleted lists, a hierarchical array of topics and subtopics. It makes it harder to show interconnections.

The U.S. military is becoming worried that their extensive use of PowerPoint is making their job harder.

“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.” – Bumiller (2010)

Elizabeth Bumiller has an excellent article in the New York Times about the effect of PowerPoint on the military titled, “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint“. It’s a great reminder of why students need to practice a variety of different presentation techniques.

slides impart less information than a five-page paper can hold, and that they relieve the briefer of the need to polish writing to convey an analytic, persuasive point. – Bumiller (2010)

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2010. Captured by PowerPoint, Retrieved July 21st, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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