This week's assignment had us create a presentation about 21st century learners. The catch was that it had to be an effective presentation. This encouraged us to do some research into what aspects and qualities made up an effective presentation.  When I was reading up on these aspects I could not help thinking that they were farily common sense if you put yourself in your audience's shoes. If you were the one watching the presentation what would you want to see. Some of the most common themes which came up were: clarity, simplicity - less is more, and brevity. In other words, Don't add too many images or have too much text on a slide. Avoid overwhelming the audience!
As I thought about these things I began to realize that clearly they are not common sense. My evidence? 6 years of University presentations, some which have been phenomenal, others that were painful to sit through. As future educators it is so important to know how to present your material in an effective and pleasant matter. Also I think it is important to acknowledge that sometimes a powerpoint presentation will not be the most effective way to convey your lesson. We must be comfortable with many different teaching strategies to ensure we engage all students.
In the past few years the internet phenomena of blogging has really taken off. In the beginning people didn't seem to see much use in it and assumed it was just a waste of time; however, recently the tables have turned and people are beginning to use it in their professions. Many people ask - Does blogging have a place in the classroom? As an aspiring teacher my response would be absolutely.  Blogging acts as a great way to get students engaged. How? Well, in order to blog one must access the internet which is, lets face it, a tool all students love to use. Furthermore, it encourages students to reflect on what they have learned so far and offer their thoughts, opinions, and experiences in a very non-threatening way. Students may fing it less intimidated to share these things over a blog versus having a classroom discussion which opens up the possibility of direct peer criticism.
Moreover, blogging is not just helpful for the students. It is also a helpful tool for teachers to use to stay in touch with parents and keep them up to date. A teacher can use a blog to inform parents as to what was taught that day, what homework was given, and what assignments the students are currently working on. This not only saves time for the teacher but as well for the parents. Instead of making the dreaded call to the teacher to see what their child has been working on the parents/guardians can simply go online and check. Furthermore, it establishes a strong relationship between teacher-parent without having to make constant phone calls home or update homework hotline.
If used carefully and correctly blogging is a great classsroom tool to build relationships, encourage reflection, and foster exploration.

Picture found on www.misskayt