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Improving Student Presentation Skills

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Keywords: Flip Video, science, science research, presentation skill, presentation
Subject(s): Video, Social Skills, Life Science, Earth Science, Information Skills, Biology, Science, Speech and Language, Chemistry, Physics
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Bethlehem Central High School, Delmar, NY
Planned By: Michael Klugman
Original Author: Michael Klugman, Delmar
Science Research in the High School is a 3 year program taught in many New York State high schools. The program culminates in its third year with students presenting their own authentic research in a 12:00 oral presentation. Winners in competition can advance to state, national and international competition. Students are judged both on the quality of their research and the quality of their presentation.

Throughout the past 6 months I have utilized a FLIP camera to record students and send them their video via an email link made possible by the FLIP software. Students not only watch their videos but evaluate their own presentations using a presentation rubric designed to correlate to both evaluative criteria (quality of research, and quality of presentation).

Students struggled to make dramatic changes to their presentation characteristics (posture, speaking tones, speaking styles, etc.) when we only used peer and teacher feedback given in writing. Once we started self-evaluating through video use students' presentation skills hit a much faster learning curve and their progress jumped immediately.

As a result, I have made the use of video a mandate for all students in the program.
Students receive their videos through their own class-based google websites that we exchange information through. Through this medium they are able to communicate and share their videos with the world, and more importantly with potential science mentors they will conduct their authentic experience with.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This application could be applied in any classroom setting but what makes it work, other than the ease of use of the FLIP camera and its software, is having students self-evaluate with a rubric that emphasizes and focuses their scrutiny to various presentation skills and skill sets.
Students are required to present outside of class to some offsite audience that I must approve (eg: Lions, Shriners, etc.). They will be assigned a FLIP to video their presentation if we win this grant and we will begin to establish a video library.
Materials: Flip Video, Networked Projectors, Projector Screens, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods