Power corrupts, but Powerpoint corrupts absolutely.
– Paul Grabowitz, USC Berkeley – 2003

Never before have three letters elicited such fear in a group of high school seniors then these. The acronym is for the Senior Extended Essay, a major project that is a requirement for all Carol Morgan students to graduate (roots in IB’s EE). It is a lot of work for both students and staff and is in its sixth year here at CMS. The theory behind the project is sound; a culminating activity to these seniors’ high school career. It is cross-curricular and combines teacher effort from all walks.

The papers are in, the oral defense looms.

Today i sent my classes to the FlowLab and spent the day under contract from the English department trying to prevent these students from using PowerPoint to ruin their oral defenses. A large task; these students came with my personal nightmares: projects riddled with fancy transitions, PowerPoint sound effects, clip-art, bouncing bullets, the works. These were the exact things i was hoping to prevent seeing by giving this workshop. Hopefully my message will have some of these students re-consider their work. My original hope was to move some students to some web 2.0 presentation tools (zoho, slideshare, etc.) but i quickly realized that what was needed was some presentation basics. In preparing for this presentation i elicited some help form some of my favorite bloggers and contributors so i thought i would share some of them here:


We are really letting students run with creative license on these defenses this year and are hoping that through continued monitoring we can see them really take off. I will keep you posted.

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