Digital Leaders: What makes a good presentation?

As part of our Digital Leader Academy we have online badges accredited to Digital Leaders for effective presenting. In order to achieve the Presenter Level 1 Badge the children need to be able to plan, create, deliver and review an effective presentation(s). In order to achieve this they need to be able to identify good /bad elements of presenting and presentations.

This is often perceived as one of the easier badges to achieve as children are often given opportunities to create and present through their regular curriculum activities but teachers need to be aware that the standard of presentation creation and delivery to achieve this badge is high. Presentations should have a consistent design / theme and any effects or music need to be suitably used to enhance the presentation. Often using less effects is more effective. It is key to remember that a good presentation will engage and educate the audience relevant to the aims / objectives of the presentation.  I often see children presenting where they have a decent presentation and then read slides from the presentation to the audience and this is received with warm applause and positive comments. Reading a set of slides to an audience who can already read is not good presenting! The expectations of this badge are higher than that and the children should understand small amounts of well chosen text and interesting images are often the best means to capture the attention of the audience. The true skill of a good presenter is to have strong dialogue with the audience using the presentation content to support or model what they are saying whilst maintaining strong eye contact where possible. It also takes lots of practice rehearsing and delivering presentations to reach the standard expected.

Peer and staff evaluation of their presentations and delivery is crucial to achieve this badge and in the schools who have worked on this effectively the standard of the presentations and presenting is of a significantly high standard and this builds confidence and self-esteem in the Digital Leaders.

The following video clip is useful to help the children identify and evaluate elements of a poor presentation. They can then reflect on these to create criteria for a good presentation by suggesting how it could be done better.

Build your Raspberry Pi and get Coding!

Physical Computing at the Innovation Centre Bradford on PhotoPeach

Last week existing and prospective Digital Leaders from St John’s CE Primary School attended the Innovation Centre Bradford with their teacher Mr Burton. The school has a well deserved reputation for innovative use of technology and pupils play a big part in teaching their peers and teachers how to use new and emerging technology safely and purposefully. With this in mind the children attended the Innovation Centre to take part in a day of Physical Computing. At the heart of this is the Raspberry Pi. Each small group had to identify the parts in the Pi and work out what their function was as well as classify them as input or output devices. When it came to assembling it all the children had their Raspberry Pi up and running in less than ten minutes, the fastest group managed this in two!

The operating system we used on the Raspberry Pi s was called Kano this is a free, open source operating system created by the people who make the Kano, a child friendly way of buying the Raspberry Pi with almost everything you need to operate it. The great thing about the Kano OS is that once you have built it you can customise your avatar and unlock points and costumes by completing challenges. These can involve coding using Python or Python blocks in Pong, Minecraft or Snake to name three. The children thoroughly enjoyed working through the challenges to create the algorithms to meet the challenges.

Later in the day we used Picoboards and Makey Makeys with laptops, although we could have run these through the Raspberry Pi too. One of the highlights was using the electrical current sensotrs to generate different music loops when different fruits were touched. The chiuldren showed amazing skills during the day and worked through the challenges in a logical and patient way. They constantly exhibited the skills of teamwork and resilience when met with problems and showed what superb skills they had which explains why the Digital Leaders at St John’s Primary are of such a high standard.

The children left with a couple of Picoboards to borrow for a few weeks to build on the skills they gained during the day. If you’d like your children to take part in a day like this please contact the Innovation Centre or email me.