My first year writing students are doing their class presentations for their research papers now, and by golly, they've been doing a really super job! Somehow, this group seems to have figured out how to make a powerpoint presentation that works, few slides, but meaningful ones, minimal bullet point stuff (instead, graphs, pictures, and such), and good information.
We did some brainstorming ahead of time about what makes a good presentation and what makes a lousy one, but I've done that for years without much success. This group somehow seems to understand and be able to put the good stuff into practice. Not all used powerpoint, but the ones who did, used it well. And the ones who didn't used other strategies to communicate.
Sometimes their thoughts still surprise me. For example, one student talked today about how much she wants to go spend the summer at home. Me? I found myself an internship in order to avoid going home my first summer, and would have avoided it every summer if I could have realistically afforded to. But these folks seem to like home more than I did, or something. (And it's not that I went to college in some happening place. The saying at my school was that the men were men, the women were too, and the sheep were nervous. On more than one occasion, I actually went to watch cows chew their cud just to see something different. I never participated in cow tipping, however, so no worries on that front.)
More presentations on Wednesday. I should take bets on how many students are absent. Quiz time!