The Most Appealing Ideas Expressed by the Author
The book Digitally Speaking: How to Improve Student Presentations with Technology by Erik Palmer is focused specifically on the approaches towards the creation of presentations for educational purposes and using digital devices. As digital technologies made their way to every person’s home and personal space, their use started to be a part of all kinds of spheres of life. In the contemporary world, digital technologies are widely applied for work in a multitude of career fields.
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As a result, a skillful operation of various digital technologies has become one of the essential skillsets for a modern professional. Preparing future professionals, schools have to provide them with the types of skills that are going to be useful in the future and that are relevant to the lives of contemporary people. Making presentations is one of the best ways to help students develop their ability to use technology for professional and effective self-expression.
In his book, Palmer explored various aspects of presentations such as communication, visual literacy, the manner of presentation, and the choice of voice, language, and tone while delivering information. Also, I liked his idea of adding chapters about the integration of presentations into different contexts and subjects. Practically, in that way, the author showed how universal the skill of presentation-making can be and how well it applied to various spheres of knowledge.
Focusing on the general issue of presentation-making as a part of learning activities, the author emphasizes that education has entered a new millennium where the strategies of communication are different from the ones that used to be popular several decades ago. Also, having created a book dedicated just to the creation of presentations at school, the author pointed out the importance of this skill, as well as its complex nature and a variety of components that need to be mastered for the effective delivery of information.
The Implications of The Ideas in the Book for Me as an Educator
Made as a helpful guide for students whose tasks include the production of presentations as a part of learning activities, the book is actually aimed at educators. Reading this book from the perspective of an educator made me think about the level of practical and theoretical skills in the creation of presentations that are required for teachers today. In other words, in order to teach children how to make presentations, a teacher, ideally, has to be able to make such herself. In this case, even a teacher who possesses excellent theoretical knowledge of presentation-making would not be qualified enough to teach this kind of skill.
At the same time, it is important to mention that not all teachers in modern schools are equally teach-savvy. It is possible that the ideas expressed in this book, as well as its major purpose, imply that many teachers who are willing to include the skill of presentation-making into their plans would have to master it personally. Unfortunately, for some educators, it may be rather overwhelming; all in all, it could also imply that only the teachers with a higher level of tech proficiency would be able to use the strategies explained in the book.
Moreover, apart from the skills covering the use of visual aids, organization, and style of presentations, the author also focuses on the other aspects of information delivery, such as body language, tone, gestures, movements, eye contact, to name a few.
These aspects definitely require practice in order for an educator to be able to teach them. Just like the skill of presentation-making, public speaking is a separate sphere of knowledge with which most teachers are unfamiliar. In that way, it is possible to notice that the ideas expressed in the book y Palmer imply that the contemporary teachers need to improve and diversify their performance by adding many more skills and experiences to their practice in order to stay relevant for the modern learners.
The Ideas That I Challenge
As useful as the skills of presentation-making and interactive information delivery can be, the author does not take into consideration one of the most important aspects of teaching these skills. Practically, I agree that the book is focused on a very important skill set that is extremely relevant in the contemporary world for future employment seekers. At the same time, the problem with the introduction of this skill in schools is similar to the one revolving around the teaching of information technology.
This problem is known as a skills shortage. In the contemporary world, many practices appeared spread and developed faster than educational facilities could find someone qualified enough to stay on track and teach the skills alongside their popularization in a society. Practically, a few years ago, presentation-making was not a part of the educational process, and then it quickly made its way into modern curriculums. This change was so sudden that many teachers had no time to master the skill, understand the practice behind it, or its usefulness.
As a result, many of the contemporary educators to be able to teach this form of information delivery means taking a course in this subject and studying it properly. In turn, this type of activity could be considered as a full-scale change project that would require valuable resources such as time and money. Additionally, teachers need to be ready to embrace such change in order to add the skill of presentation-making as one of the essential parts of modern curriculums in many subjects.