Audiovisuals and Apples

Audiovisual Elements during a Speech

Visual or audiovisual elements during a presentation can help as attention-grabbers, evidence, examples. Thanks to them, you can enhance your research and keep the audience engaged. Of course, they need to be carefully chosen and come naturally in your presentation.
Audiences who use more of their senses to engage during a presentation remember better the message, and for a longer period of time.

To help our grade 10 English students to achieve that goal during their new unit on “Persuasive Speech”, I used some of my COETAIL course 3 content,  as the purpose was related to “Visual Literacy: Effective Collaborators and Communicators”.

We planned my input on the following areas:

  1. help students to first understand what efficient audiovisual aids are and how to create effective Google Slides with those elements
  2. teach students how to use our Creativity Studio and its equipment, to create their own audiovisual support
  3. provide tech support during the entire process
  4. design online feedback forms for students to receive meaningful comments from their classmates after the practice speech

In The 7 Best Visual Presentation Tips You Will Ever Read we can find some interesting reminders on what a visual presentation should look like.
Of course, my main focus will be on Garr Reynolds’ What is Good Presentation. His Presentation Zen concept (and name of his website) is one of the “bible” in the domain. Without a doubt, I will reinforce his message to the students: “Simplicity is the key”!

Religions and babies – Hans Rosling (TEDTalk – 22 May 2012)

Hans Rosling had a question: Do some religions have a higher birth rate than others — and how does this affect global population growth?
Speaking at the TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar, he graphs data over time and across religions.

Ten years later, this presentation is still considered a reference for how Rosling uses visuals to get his audience to easily understand complex data, with a pinch of humour. If you don’t know it, I encourage you to spend 13 minutes of your life watching the video: it is worth it!
It is also a great example of using great online animation AND physical props with the same purpose: to help his audience understand more complex data and concepts.

Going for the Apple

We are a 1:1 school, and our laptop hardware lease for Middle and High school was expiring in June 2020. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic required to delay that process one more year.

Luckily our IT department started the process early enough before the pandemic hit us and kept us at home last Spring: they researched and tested several different models, gathering input from faculty and students in the process. Arts and Performing Arts teachers note that Macs have significantly more creative capability for learning. Additionally, faculty who work across divisions have expressed a desire for a single platform: as I mentioned in a previous post, the Early Childhood Center (Preschool to grade 1) and the Elementary school (grade 2 to 6) have indeed already been using iPads and Macbooks for a few years. It is a rather unique situation, I believe, to have different platforms at one school. Did you ever come across such a model?
It makes sense to adopt a common one that will enable the tech team to better support the single hardware, and it will facilitate a school-wide professional development plan. It also addresses a need noted in our last CIS Accreditation report.

While students will receive the new MacBook Pro at the beginning of next school year, to ease the transition for teachers, those will receive theirs after the Easter break, mid-April. The idea is to give them time to work with the new MacBook Pro while still using their Lenovo during this school year in order to become familiar with the new laptop. It was decided that the library team will get trained ahead of colleagues, to be able to help the IT team support the faculty and staff (yes I know!). We soon created a Google website where we could share tutorials and our own “exercises” (for example, recording a podcast). I did not choose the name: Mac Vanguard. I would not have dared.

It also includes the tutorial below that my colleague found, and linked to Eeyore‘s picture “Be Brave“… as it reflected how we felt we needed to be at that moment.

Indeed, it felt scary at first to change years of practice and habits using our laptops.
I was lucky enough to receive three nearly individual & professional Apple training sessions with Joe Moretti, who was first presented to me as “an Apple Guru”… which alarmed me more than anything else. Gurus don’t have the reputation of being great teachers I thought.
I was wrong. At least when it comes to Joe! All teachers in the world should be as knowledgeable on their topic as he on his while adapting their expertise to your level of learning. And doing that with empathy. On his site Intuition, you can read: “Using technology to facilitate and enhance learning” which particularly resonates with the COETAIL program!

Our Technology Integration Teacher from the ECC / ES divisions, by default our Apple specialist on campus, just sent us the link to a library of videos to support faculty and staff further learning: “Mac Basics by Apple Professional Learning Specialists”.
How does your own tech support look like in your school?

Obviously, I am still learning to get used to the Apple environment… If you have any tips or other tutorials that could help, don’t hesitate to send them my way!