During our Country PowerPoint project we move from the research phase to the presentation phase. We have created a very straightforward template that directly correlates to their research guide. Students use a little bit of library time and a little bit of classroom time to get their information typed. We show students how to use clipart. It’s all very basic. And that’s okay for us at this particular point in the year for our second graders who have barely gotten past Starfall in their computer experiences.
So, we have PowerPoints created. The teachers print each project in the Notes view and the students divide the narration up in their groups and practice.
I have to say, I bring mad skills to the table for this one. In the past, “skills” meant that I had the quiet office (which I never use) where we could do audio recordings. The students used PowerPoint’s narration option to record their slides. It was time consuming because I had to pull each group of students individually outside of our library time. The outside of library time isn’t a problem for me, but it was challenging to get all the groups done and not have the teachers’ routines disrupted too much.
This year was different. I used $400 in grant money and purchased 8 digital voice recorders. I was able to set up groups all around the library each with a recorder, a microphone, copies of their PowerPoint and some basic instruction. And they went for it! It was wonderful! In one library session five-six groups of students recorded all of the audio they needed for the project.
I read an article in the last year called Rugrat-ical Technology. In it the author states that students need to be allowed to play and experiment with technology before they are required to use it to complete an assignment. I really did not follow that rule with this project. The kids did a great job though, and had fun doing it. And, they played a bit too! Have a listen…
When the recordings were finished, I had many tracks to sort through to find the ones that went with the right slides. Once I got in the groove of it I think it took about 2 hours total to complete the work. I didn’t edit any audio tracks individually, but I did have to listen to quite a few extras to choose the best ones and insert them into slides. If I were to do this again I would have the groups review their tracks and choose which they want. They could write the track number next to the slide on their Notes page.