Trying to "One Up"

Thursday, November 27, 2008 | 0 comments »

Each month at School Board Meetings, a principal from one of the 16 schools in my district, makes a presentation to the Board about their school. They usually go over some of the programs that are unique to the school as well as information on what is being done to improve test scores. Our principal, who happens to be new to our school this year, is presenting on December 8th. He attended a previous meeting to see what other schools were doing for their presentations and to get some ideas on what he needed to do. What he saw was both good and bad. He saw a presentation by a principal who is pretty tech savvy, works at a pretty tech savvy school, and is pretty tech savvy (yes, I said that again.) This was good because he saw multimedia tools he was unfamiliar with. He saw a good presentation. Well, needless to say, we wants to create a presentation at least that good, he wants our school to stand out. Here's the problem, he's not that tech savvy. Luckily, he does know someone who, and he came calling.

We had some discussions on what we could do to make his PowerPoint stand out a little bit and really show some of the neat things we do at our school. At the least, we could make our basic things seem cool by simply changing the way we present them. It was time to infuse some easy "cool stuff" into the presentation. I put together a couple, okay 10, Animoto videos with pictures of our students and our school and asked if he thought we should include one. He really liked the videos, so we added this one. I used GarageBand to create an audio file of some of our students reciting our school pledge in Spanish and added that to one of the slides. We had a teacher interview students using a Flip video camera about what they liked about our school. I edited those and we added that presentation as well. By the way, thank you Zamzar for helping with some of the the file conversion! I think he really likes the final presentation with the things I helped add. I know he really appreciates my help because he's said so many times.

I think he also realized that the things I did weren't really that difficult. On some occasions, he said, "That's it? That's all you have to do?" I think you can guess what my one word answer was. This is what most people don't realize about some of the new tools that are out there. They are not difficult to learn, but in many cases, people just don't know what can be done or don't know where to find some of the fun applications that exist. He asked me how I learned all "this stuff." I told him through classes, trial and error with programs, and through my PLN. I was telling my wife that story and she told me I should have told him I knew how to do all of it because it was my job. Why didn't I think of that?


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