Saturday, October 31, 2009

Google Presentations and the Eighth Grade

I've been using a Time Travel Agency idea for an eighth grade PowerPoint project for the last three or four years. I've modified the project to suit my needs. Each year, I get new ideas and hope to improve on the previous version of the project.

Image License Search
This year, I am going to use the Google Apps accounts I created though my domain. I have enough accounts to assign two students to a decade. Twice in previous years, I had multiple students assigned to one PowerPoint presentation, but it seemed as if some students did a lot of work and others sat and talked. Last year, I had each student create their own presentation but they found it to be too much work.

Last week, the students partnered up and chose a decade. They completed the 2009-2010 Time Travel Form.

Next week, I plan to review what the students learned about selecting a license for their fish animations last year. I want to show them the Advanced Image Search in Google. I will have them do their best to find images using the Usage Rights category to find images that are labeled for commercial reuse with modification. It will give us an opportunity to review copyright, creative commons, and the public domain.

Google Presentations
I played around with Google Presentations a bit last week. I completed three sample slides to share with the class. I was happy to find out that they will have the ability to add speaker notes in the Google Presentation and those notes will download into PowerPoint! The students will have to split up the work so that they have the required slides completed equally. I was happy to see that if they choose a presentation theme, it will download into PowerPoint.

A Chance to Talk About Alternate Search Engines
This week, they will begin to populate the slides with their pictures and notes. As they do so, they will need to delve deeper into their topics. I am looking forward to sharing Noodletools: Choose the Best Search for Your Internet Needs website.

I've been working through a Moodle course from November Learning. I have the opportunity to take their three course offerings through the state of New Jersey. I had a great session with Alan November at Kean University's Creating 21st Century Schools seminar this past week. There are things I want the eighth grade to be reacquainted with before they graduate. The Webliteracy for Educators class is reminding me of many important topics. This project will allow me to combine a variety of search skills in one project.

The fact that these are Google Presentations with creative commons images should help me share the final projects. Something I've never been able to do in the past.

Image Citation:
Kalohi, Leslie. "Time-Freezy Hype Slush." Never Cool in School's photostream. 28 Sep 2008. 31 Oct 2009.

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