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Creating Confident Communicators

By Derick Pikula, Technology Teacher and Technology Department Chair

As a technology teacher, I am responsible for teaching students the effective use of digital tools. I craft my curriculum with a sharp focus on the significance of the tools being taught and how students can apply these skills in their daily lives. One of the most engaging lessons that I scaffold into a multi-year project is teaching students how to create slideshow presentations.

Starting in third grade, students use the Apple Keynote program to create slideshow presentations. They are encouraged to select topics of personal interest, fostering autonomy and creativity. Students learn to adeptly insert text and images while also mastering the art of designing captivating backgrounds and animations. After they finish their slideshow, students are given the opportunity to present them before their peers, fostering confidence and communication skills.

In fourth grade, collaboration takes center stage as students work in groups to create slideshow presentations using Google Slides. This collaborative platform, integrated into their school Google accounts, facilitates seamless sharing and simultaneous editing among team members. Teams select topics from a list, all centered on technology themes. Each team member assumes a specific role, including Group Leader, Presentation Director, Content Producer, and Lead Editor. These assigned roles underscore the importance of teamwork and shared responsibility in achieving common objectives. All groups present their projects before the class, with a strong emphasis on effective presentation and public speaking skills.

Moving into fifth grade, students embark on individual slideshow projects using Google Slides, with the freedom to select technology-related topics of interest. Students are tasked with tracing the evolution of their chosen topics over time and exploring potential implications for the future. This iteration of the project places a premium on research skills, requiring students to include a reference slide citing all sources consulted during their research process. Individual presentations are then delivered before the class, further refining students' public speaking abilities.

While public speaking may initially seem daunting to some, it is a skill that holds significant value for students as they progress through their academic journey. I take great pleasure in guiding learners through the process of honing these skills, recognizing the importance of equipping them with the ability to create compelling visual aids for oral presentations.

Harbor Day School

3443 Pacific View Drive
Corona del Mar, CA 92625 Phone<title><script type="mce-text/javascript"> (function(a,e,c,f,g,h,b,d){var k={ak:"984895077",cl:"EfBCCP-Fv3UQ5ZzR1QM"};a[c]=a[c]||function(){(a[c].q=a[c].q||[]).push(arguments)};a[g]||(a[g]=k.ak);b=e.createElement(h);b.async=1;b.src="//www.gstatic.com/wcm/loader.js";d=e.getElementsByTagName(h)[0];d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a[f]=function(b,d,e){a[c](2,b,k,d,null,new Date,e)};a[f]()})(window,document,"_googWcmImpl","_googWcmGet","_googWcmAk","script"); </script><head><body>1-949-640-1410<html></html></body></head><br><br><br>
Harbor Day School is a co-educational private independent K-8 school established in 1952.