This post is unbelievably behind schedule but explores the final part of the Pecha Kucha journey undertaken by my class. After four lessons of preparation, pondering and photographing – the day had arrived where my class would be presenting their Pecha Kucha presentations.
So we have arrived at PechaKucha day. Have my students actively engaged with this unit? Has the Pecha Kucha experience been beneficial? Have I provided an opportunity for the construction of deep knowledge and meaningful learning? Or, have I simply created another vehicle for angst about speeches, bullet points and PowerPoint?
Here is a quick re-cap of the experience up to this point. The topic for the unit was Fitness and the aim of developing a Pecha Kucha presentation (20 slides each for 20 seconds) was to encourage creativity, deep knowledge development and meaningful exploration of the topic. With this in mind, the activity parameters needed to be flexible but we established a few guidelines as a class:
– Presentation may be developed individually or in pairs
– At least TWO different areas of the topic are to be covered
– Students need to include at least TWO images they have created themselves (photos, drawings, graphics, etc.)
– A soundtrack may be included
– Keep text to a minimum
– This is NOT about writing a speech – selecting images that are meaningful will assist with the words flowing during the presentation
Every group of students had completed their presentation and most had already uploaded it to our Edmodo site. The range and depth of topics covered varied considerably from each group but all presentations were packed with fresh images and focused discussion about each. I recorded a few of their presentations using Audioboo, although I did forget about the five-minute maximum initially. Here is an example of the Pecha Kucha from two of my students.
Pecha Kucha – Fitness by Amber and Bec
Audio Recording via Audioboo
At the end of each presentation, each group had to reflect on the task and we had an informal PMI discussion (positives, minus, interesting).
- Positives: creating the images, using their laptops and mobile phones in class, choosing the focus for the presentation, working together
- Minuses: worried they wouldn’t be able to talk for twenty seconds, applying transitions in slideshow, selecting images
- Interesting: enjoyed the freedom of the task, liked hearing others presentations, too many images to choose from at times
The discussion also turned to what we would do the following term for our next unit. They all love Tumblr so our next adventure became a class blog titled PASStheCupcakes. This is now linked into our Edmodo site and the students post to it via email. More about this in a later post.
And now to my own reflection on the task – why are we doing this? What do I want them achieve from this? Have I pushed them a little too far out of their comfort zone?
I was determined to do things differently in this class and to experiment with more authentic ways for students to engage with content. I love the passion that drives the Pecha Kucha concept and how the meaningful nature of the images should be what drives the presentation. I know that all of my students enjoyed parts of the process and certainly took a more active role in their knowledge development than they would had we worked through this unit via more traditional means.
I wanted my students to achieve a sense of understanding about elements of the topic that mattered to them. I also wanted them to explore their creative potential in constructing images using whatever means available including their laptops, mobile phones and resource both inside and outside the classroom. The collaboration that took place on this front was fantastic! The students were helping each other every step of the way with using Bluetooth to get images on to the laptop, exploring photo editing apps, acknowledging image sites and sources and teaching each other how to use various software programs to generate their presentation.
I certainly did push many of them out their comfort zone with this task. But now they don’t want to go back.
Four months on and our class blog and Edmodo site are both going strong with not a single piece of paper in site during theory lessons.
So my Pecha Kucha project finished with a flourish and has certainly set the scene for many possibilities for these learners.