Use Powerpoint as a Learning Tool

aitsl In Australia teachers have the Professional Teacher Standards which are available on the aitsl site along with a great number of other documents which you can download to support you with working with the standards. On the site there is also plenty of material to engage with which will help you understand what the standards look like in the real world with real teachers and students. There are also the iPhone and Android My Standards apps which you can download so that you have the standards handy on your phone or tablet. I have done all of that and downloaded the Demonstrating Impact pdf from the aitsl site and Demonstrating a Professional Mindset pdf. Both of these are interactive workbooks for teachers to work with the standards. First, I need to get this all clear in my head and even though I have been looking at the standards for quite some time now, if I want to seriously engage with them and make a solid effort to reflect on what I am doing I need to organise the material very clearly in my head. Just looking at documents and reading it all isn’t how I learn to put standards into practice and know my content. I have started a Powerpoint about the standards because it is the best way I know of learning complex material using technology. As I play with the layout and animations on each slide I am thinking about the content I am displaying. As I choose colours, backdrops, order of presentation I am forced to think about what the content means. This image is my first slide . In real life it is animated and as the information comes up the content is revealed in a way that I am neither swamped nor intimidated by it. When my Powerpoint is finished and you can see what I am doing I’ll share it with you. I get students to present information I want them to learn. Sometimes they can just take a photo from the board but if I want them to involve themselves with the material I get them to create a presentation. I then start to get very particular questions about what something means or whether they have it right. Powerpoint presentations encourage you to consider each and every aspect of what you are presenting as you compose the material on each slide. It naturally forces you to break learning down into bitesize pieces. KeyNote on the MacBook does exactly the same thing. By using Powerpoint as a learning tool I become immersed in my learning. It is not a clockwork exercise where I can tune out because I am creating visual learning. My next step is to look at individual indicators in the seven areas of Professional Standards:

1. Know students and how they learn

2. Know the  content and  how to teach it

3. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning

4. Create and maintain supportive and safe learning

5. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning

6. Engage in professional learning

7. Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community

Improve your memory and enjoy learning

memriseThe memory can be improved. There are methods of learning so that you can add to you knowledge bank. Memrise is a rich site for finding learning activities which will grow your memory. As your memory improves you grow little plants. Visually it is very appealing but the range of activities and courses is impressive. It has materials for so many subject and interest areas and it will only get better as people use it and contribute. There are leaderboards so you can pit your wits against others if you wish. It helps structure the improvement of your memory so that you can see you are getting better. It is not just for school students. There are materials on the site for tertiary learners. You can sign up and make your own learning networks so it’s a site where you can connect globally with others who have the same learning interests. All of this makes learning more dynamic. As a teacher it means I can use this site for my students and for myself as well. It is part of the anywhere, anytime bank of resources which are becoming increasingly more obvious and popular.

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