Friday, 7 April 2017

Learning advanced skills through PowerPoint by #MIEExpert, Matthew Hains

This is a guest post from Matthew Hains from Crawford College, Sandton. . Matthew is one of our Microsoft 2016/2017 #MIEExperts from South Africa. Matthew recently shared a blogpost on the SchoolNet blog describing his visit to Microsoft's E2 Global Exchange Toronto in Canada as part of the South African delegation. Read his post here. Also visit Matthew;'s technology blog http://www.techteachers.co.za.

In today's post Matthew talks about his use of PowerPoint to create a game.

Matthew says:
I recently attended the Microsoft E2 Hack The Classroom Educators Exchange Summit in Toronto, Canada! It’s a massive event with over 300 educators from around the world all being exposed to new ideas, new trends, the future of education and the possibilities with Microsoft in education. I was selected as one of 5 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts in South Africa to be a part of the summit.

“The E2 – Educator Exchange is Microsoft in Education’s annual event recognizing and celebrating the achievements of educators who combine content, pedagogy, and technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for success. This event brings together the most innovative educators from around the world to collaborate, create, and share their experiences on how to integrate technology and pedagogy to advance learning, achieve student outcomes, and transform education.”

A rather nerve-wracking part of the summit involved me having to set up a little stand and chat to other fellow educators, dignitaries and Microsoft Education experts about a lesson or activity involving a Microsoft product (preferably). So, I took an activity that I often use with my students which involves the use of PowerPoint and made an instruction demonstration file and video.


What I love about PowerPoint is the ability of the program to provide much more than what is seen on the surface. I like to show my students that it is indeed a very powerful application, capable of making presentations come alive and become interactive. Animations, although subtle, can be used effectively to enhance content and guide the user.

I like to touch on things that a lot of ‘average’ users of PowerPoint wouldn’t normally know about or use much, for example : animation triggers, multi-animations on a single slide with named objects, advanced image editing, hyperlinks and navigation.

PowerPoint presentation
We start from the introduction of the concept, which is to create a game. This means we must address logical processes and planning in the form of a decision-making flowchart (see the flowchart slide). From the conceptual, we move to the teaching of the skills required in order to make the game work. Then, the application of those skills is put into practice by actually creating a game in PowerPoint.

Overview
The concept of creating a quiz or game is introduced to the students. The objective is to equip the students with the skills necessary to achieve the goal. The skills required are animation, hyperlinking, hotspot creation, naming items on slides in the Selection pane, multi-animation and editing graphics while also focusing on interface design and navigation – all wrapped up in the creation of a game.



From conceptual to application
We start from the introduction of the concept, which is to create a game. This means we must address logical processes and planning in the form of a decision-making flowchart (see the flowchart slide).
From the conceptual, we move to the teaching of the skills required in order to make the game work.
Then, the application of those skills is put into practice by actually creating a game in PowerPoint.


The path of knowledge acquisition begins with discussion, demonstration, practice and then application.  Important to note here is the naming of objects in the Selection Pane in PowerPoint – it is crucial to have a naming convention and to ensure that all relevant objects are named appropriately in order for multi-animations to be constructed effectively.


Logic and deductive reasoning
Here is a demonstration of the basic logic involved in a flowchart where decisions by the user are made. I have not included ‘loop-backs’ in this image so as to keep the process easier to understand for younger students. An example of this (including a loop back) is included later in this presentation
Using the Selection pane and renaming objects


An example of the decision-making process and allowing the user the ability to return to an earlier slide to make a new choice. This relies on good planning and navigation.



Use the Selection Pane in PowerPoint to be able to select and name objects on a slide. This is useful for ordering/layering objects, naming, selecting, showing and/or hiding items when working with them. This process becomes far more important with more items on a slide and multi-animations.






A typical trigger. The open button is the trigger for the ‘Entrance’ animation for the eBookReader picture. The animation is set on the picture but is triggered by clicking/tapping the Open button.



A typical trigger. The close button is the trigger for the ‘Exit’ animation for the eBookReader picture. The animation is set on the picture but is triggered by clicking/tapping the Close button.

This slide shows how ‘hotspots’, hyperlinking and clever image editing works. There are three images on the slide. The main image is the complete picture which is actually a hyperlink to the ‘Oh dear…” slide. The other two images are the hat and the dog. These images were made by duplicating the main picture and then cropping everything out so that just the actual item is another image on its own. At first glance, you can’t see that the hat and dog are duplicated images that have been cropped. The reason I made it this way is so that the cropped images can be hyperlinked to a slide.

You can view the rest of Matthew's PowerPoint presentation here: http://bit.ly/2okUew9  Matthew has uploaded this  activity to the Microsoft Educator Community asnd you can view it here: http://bit.ly/2okSgMz 

Get involved in the 2017/2018 Microsoft MIEE program
If you are a teacher who likes to be innovative in the classroom, think about entering Microsoft's Innovative Teacher MIEExpert 2017/2018 program when applications reopen later this year. You can learn more about the program at this link: http://bit.ly/1H4gKcB on the Microsoft Educator Community.

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