Recently, I was able to use our new class set of laptops to allow students time to create visuals for a Veteran’s Day concert with our school’s choirs. I realize that a few of the students’ shows will probably be disappointing; nevertheless, I have already seen some amazing movie trailers and power point presentations from many.
I know how to create a power point, and our students have been creating them for classes since grade school. One newer website that seems like a Power Point on steroids is Prezi.com. I have not taken the time to play around with it, but I have watched students work with it. Sometimes they run into a problem and ask for help. Too bad I can’t give them much help; however, I can let a few of them work together to solve the problem. Apparently, this is the higher level thinking skills our new CORE standards (national curriculum) is advocating.
Of course, we run into network problems that prevent some students from accessing their work, Powerpoint, or Microsoft Word. The only help any of us can give is to fill a help desk ticket and wait for one of the three IT gurus to fix it. Our IT people are good, but I think having three people for two high schools, three junior highs, three middle schools, six elementary schools, and a district office are overworked. I hear that we may outsource a few positions to India.
Where does this leave the students? They get the opportunity to learn time management skills. Some did other homework because they knew they would have to work on the project at home. In addition, they learn how to adapt. The world is not perfect. Trials and tribulations are thrown at us each day. It is cliche but when life gave these kids lemons, they made lemonade.
I look forward to seeing their final products tomorrow.