Monday, January 7, 2008

Flickr photo sets

I have three new Flickr photo sets:

-- Kids...

-- Attempted Creativity

-- Her First Word
Note: This is an example of how to use Flickr for digital storytelling.

I've been thinking about the various ways to use this tool with students. You could have students take photos on a particular topic and set up a Flickr site (an individual can set up 3 sets for free). For example, given that MLK Day is right around the corner, students could set up a Flickr set illustrating how the fight for freedom and equality has been manifested (or not) in their lives, or what "honoring diversity" means to them. Or students could work together sharing photos that illuminate what it's like to be a student at their school, or what it's like to be their age. Or, if students cannot provide their own digital photos, you could provide students with a large set of photos, and have them select a sub-set that tells their story or a story they want to tell.

Since Flickr allows the inclusion of some commentary, the tool can be used for digital storytelling and self-expression (my "Her First Word" Flickr set is an example of a digital story)...which can be very empowering. And fun.

Related posts in this blog:
Storytelling for presence
Creating digital stories with VoiceThread

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bullet points make me crazy

PowerPoint/Keynote (presentation software, in general) makes me crazy. I am a classic user and abuser -- bulleted slide after bulleted slide...YAWN. So, now, I try very hard to avoid building slideshows to support presentations and use alternatives instead (handouts, flipcharts, photos, etc.). But, I still end up occasionally using it, and not very well when I do (there are a couple of examples in this blog related to my AECT presentations...again, YAWN).

It turns out that I am not alone in my feelings about PowerPoint/Keynote/etc. These tools -- specifically the overuse and misuse of them -- make some folks down-right angry! My instructional goal, however, is not to have people discontinue using these tools, but to use them wisely and creatively (don't do what I do!). Here are a couple of "presentations" I use to launch discussions about how we should use presentation tools. I find that these clips help us begin to explore ways to effectively communicate via these tools, and encourage us to use a critical eye when creating presentation slideshows. [As an aside, I really like the message shared via the "Death By PowerPoint" slideshow, but I believe communicating the message with 61 slides violates effective use.]

Related posts in this blog:
My legal separation from PowerPoint (and other presentation software tools)