SCASL Conference: PowerPoint Sidekicks and Desktop Learning Spaces: Practical Engaging Project Starters

On Thursday, I attended this session conducted by Annette Lamb.  She shared with us the idea of using PowerPoint to create  mini-projects to use with students as a way of getting them to interact with text and pictures/graphics.  All of the information she shared can be found on the Eduscapes site here

Students are often overwhelmed when given a full sheet of paper or a full wordprocessing screen they must fill with their thoughts. As educators, our job is to ensure they have mastered the content we have chosen for them. Annette Lamb uses the concept of PostIt notes to encourage students to organize their thoughts and understandings.  Several of the templates she shares on her site have the look of the yellow lined sticky note which is much less daunting than a full page of paper or full screen. Scroll down the page this link takes you to see her example of Novel Notes.

Annette Lamb and her husband Larry Johnson understand the pressures that teachers are under to help students perform well on “the test” and wanted to help them create engaging activities in which students can prove mastery of content.  PowerPoint Sidekicks are essentially electronic worksheets, without the worksheet feel.  Students can interact with text and graphics to create a product that takes mastery of content to a higher level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Because teachers already have too many demands on their time, Lamb and Johnson don’t expect teachers to reinvent the wheel.  They provide a plethora of templates at their site that teachers can download and make their own to match their curriculum.    

As a media specialist, I can not only share this site with my teachers, but also help them create their own Sidekicks that will create higher level thinking activities for our students.


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