“As instructors, we try to find new and original ways to make history more engaging to our students, to foster connections to source material, and to show that the skills developed through the study of history are transferable to nearly all disciplines.”
I think this quote speaks to the theme of the course as a whole, at least in my mind. This plays into how we as teachers need to switch it up and keep things interesting for our kids. Rethinking presentations and using a tool such as digital storytelling keeps things interesting for students in the classroom, especially when history can easily become one of those subjects that students often resent. The skills that are developed through history, such as writing skills and analytical skills, can be used not only for other classes but for the future when they go to college or wherever they go.
“Thin content leads to boring presentations.”
All throughout grade school, we are taught that when we present, we are to put as little information on our slides as we possibly can. It might have been a way to show the teacher that we knew what we were talking about, but I think it was also to declutter the slides. What does the author mean by “thin” content? Does Tuft mean little content or does he mean content that is not interesting? Content that is not terribly repetitive? I understand the use of PowerPoint and have used them for several of my presentations, but I guess it can turn into one of those things that students expect, which doesn’t exactly get them excited for class.
“By using PP to report technical work, presenters quickly damage their credibility – as was the case for NASA administrators and engineers pitching their usual PP decks to these two very serious review boards.”
I thought this was an interesting quote to reflect on. I know it was used in the context of NASA administrations that had higher credibility than I would as a teacher, but I feel like it still applies. As a history teacher, I am going to present history to my students, who will ultimately have an opinion about my teaching. Using other sources for presentations or even getting information across is something that I am exploring and will continue to explore in my teaching. I want to look into how we can make PowerPoints more interesting and less “thin.”