Tag Archive: googledocs

Mar 30

Key Words and Visuals-What Contributes to the Story?

First of all, thank you, Garr Reynolds for (pooping a lot) providing many resources and examples to help guide my presentation development.  Having watched Reynolds-sensei present on TEDxTokyo, reading his blog, and watching and reading other interpretations of Zen and the Art of Presentation, I know that I have just scratched the surface on how to sharpen my presentation skills.   I appreciate the material made available for access on the Internet and I find value in what is being presented as Reynolds-sensei works to bring harmony with western and eastern thinking.

Searching for other Garr Reynolds resources on the web, I stumbled upon a presentation that Garr made at Google.  I found this presentation to be more educational for me as the hour workshop provided additional resources and it allowed for dialogue with the audience.  The presentation is embedded below.

YouTube Preview Image

Trying to apply some of the teachings of Presentation Zen, I worked to simplify and refine the content of the presentation.  One take away from Garr’s Google presentation is…What is the story that you want the audience to walk away with?  Sometimes I forget about that story and go straight to listing the facts or possibly including non-essential information.  When working on revising this presentation, I made an effort to decrease the amount of text and increase the visuals focusing on what contributed to telling the story.  I have included a select number of presentation slides below.  On the left are the original slides.  On the right are the revised slides (revision still in process).




I looked at this slide and I thought that while it was informative, but a little on the bland side.






The revised slide on the right is a step in the right direction.  It shows blue skies and a “positive outlook” for the school year.  There is the healthy green of the trees and the learning environment looks fertile.  :)







The revised slide makes the kids the focus and it clearly shows the students in their restaurant role play.








Also, I decided to take the initial wording from the original slide, reduce the wording to only three key words, and include more visuals.



















Original slide







Focus on the key imagery–listening and speaking.







For this slide, I remember pretty much reading from the slide.  As mentioned by many, it is important to keep the slide simple.  If necessary, the important information can be included in a hand-out for future reading/reference.








Perhaps this is the slide with the most drastic change.  Meeting diverse needs, I ran across this picture of bamboo.  While I know that Garr presented on the lessons of bamboo in the TedxTokyo talk, I liken the bamboo to the elementary students.  Bamboo ranges from shoots to tall stalks.  Students range from first graders losing their first teeth to fifth graders bursting out of their chairs and desks.


The story behind the slide makes this slide much more interesting than the original slide.  The imagery of bamboo shooting up to the sky tells a more interesting story than the previous bullet points.

Reading over this post, I am happy with the visual results.  Compared to the original slides, I am much more moved and inspired by the revised slides.  (I am easy to please.)  This process has been good for me and I can see using this post as a future reference when I need another quick recap on how to purify my presentations.

While I understand that I still have much to improve with my presentations, I believe I have taken one small step towards presentation enlightenment.


Other Resources



Permanent link to this article: http://www.coetail.com/dimanishi/2012/03/30/key-words-and-visuals-what-contributes-to-the-story/

Nov 05

Remember the Past. Take Advantage of the Future.

In the 2011 K-12 Horizon Report, Cloud computing is described and a few resources are shared.  Here is one video in English and in Japanese to describe this “new” technology.






 Cloud Computing in Plain English

With the new technology of Cloud computing available, the possibilities for students and teachers in and outside classroom has become much more open-ended and accessible.

Going back to the standard of Google documents, I was recently working with upper elementary students to work on a Google presentation project.  Instead of being tied to one computer or only working on the project in the classroom, students could fairly easily access their work from home.  It was now as easy as logging into an e-mail account and then accessing Google documents.  Storage and the software are housed on the Internet.  This is a big advancement from some of the alternative methods that I have been accustomed to for sharing files.

1)   E-mailing the document/file

2)   Using a thumb drive, external hard drive

3)   Using a floppy diskette,

Cloud computing has eliminated the storage problem and opened up possibilities for extending the classroom beyond the classroom walls.

Now too, it is possible to collaborate on a project without having to be in the same room.  With the Google document, I have been able to edit a student’s work and make a comment while still being at school and the student has already returned home.

No longer am I tied to using a specific laptop or desktop computer, but I can use an iPad, iPod touch, and “low” specification hardware to do high or higher performing cloud based software to produce a product.

I remember when I was limited to a single cd rom software title that would only work if I had installed it on the machine with the proper specification.  Now with cloud computing technology, a past inefficient computing practice can be replaced with a faster, more reliable method.

With the current Google presentation project, I can access students’ presentation from school or at home, while they have been working on the document at home.  The division of the classroom lines becomes a little blurred, but it is a better blending of homework with support and feedback.  Next, I will have the students share their presentation with another student to support the peer-editing process.

These are exciting times when the technology now allows for this type of collaboration to easily take place.  The technology now is so much better than what I experienced five years ago, I jump at the chance to utilize these new tools.  No longer am I focused on how to get the job done, but now I can better concentrate on getting a job done in new and exciting ways.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.coetail.com/dimanishi/2011/11/05/remember-the-past-take-advantage-of-the-future/

Nov 04

New Tools, New Ways of Learning

I believe that in some cases, I was guilty of doing the same thing, just in new ways.  Instead of using a tape recorder, I was using a digital audio recorder on the computer.  Instead of using the overhead projector, I was using the document camera. However, the document camera does allow me to recognize exemplary student work.  It also is good for using real student work to discover and correct common mistakes.

Taking students to a new level of learning is a concept that is now much more in forefront of my thinking now

With the use of iPads to help practice writing in hiragana, katakana, and kanji, it is now more apparent that the programs used are geared towards lower level thinking skills.  Therefore, it is important to further investigate how other apps (iMovie, Popplet, ReplayNote, etc.) can be be utilized for students to and apply their language skills.

On the team level, my colleagues and I are now using Google Documents to take collaboration to a new level.  Working on the same document at the same time saves time, gets everyone involved, and allows everyone an equal voice.   This is new learning for our group and it has worked well in the case of taking meeting notes and getting member feedback.  Team members can give timely feedback that is shared back to the entire group almost immediately after a meeting.  It is open and honest communication and collaboration.  There is not the need for one person to collect, sort, and then combine it into a single document to be later circulated to the group.  Collaboration is made easier and the process is accelerated with Google Documents.






Permanent link to this article: http://www.coetail.com/dimanishi/2011/11/04/new-tools-new-ways-of-learning/