Visual Represenation of Culture

This is the presentation created for LTMS645: Visual Representation for Learning and Communication. The project needed to follow visual design principles. This was an introduction to the culture and geography unit for first year Spanish students. Each slide features a country and cultural aspects that make it unique. The project was supposed to tell a story with minimum text. There is a script to show what I intended the students to get from each slides in the speaker notes (which do not show up on the embedded copy, you would need to view the presentation on Slideshare). The speaker notes are the tab behind comments.

The visual elements prompted more discussion and questions from the students than in past presentation of similar material. Previously they had been attentive, but more or less passive listeners. This year the quick introduction lasted the entire class period and they continued to have follow-up culture questions the next class.

The pictures helped the students personalize the cultural elements. By making connections to their own life they remembered more details. They had a short reflective written response to explain some of the cultural traditions that interested them. It was exciting to see tangible proof of the connections they made.

Each of the images are licensed Creative Commons on Flickr. The images are linked to the original with the citation in the speaker notes for that slide. I learned that patience is necessary when searching through Creative Commons images. Sometimes multiple search terms were needed, but finding the perfect image was always possible. Patience is rewarded.

When I create PowerPoint I use a simple design. Transitions and animations often detract from the intended message. They also do not show up on Slideshare. I upload my presentations to Slideshare so they can be embedded on either the class blogs or Moodle. When something has the students attention, they do go back and reference it on their own. Next year I will take it a step further and upload the presentation to Voicethread so students could leave comments and ask questions about the cultural elements that interest them.

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About Lisa Butler

Middle school teacher of Social Studies and Spanish, tech trainer, Flocabulary MC, Nearpod PioNear, and Edcamp Hershey Founder. I have embraced the power of blogging and reviewing products. If I am not doing something with ed or tech, I am probably reading, baking, running, or traveling.
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