3 Alternatives to Classroom Presentations

Rae HughartBlog, Engage Better, Innovate Better, Lesson Plan Better

In This Post:

  • A warning against always doing formal classroom presentations.
  • Alternative options for classroom presentations that still encourage understanding & allow for assessment!

I was writing this blog while hanging out after school with a few students. I asked them if they had ever had to do a formal presentation in a classroom. Suddenly groans filled the room.

Ugh, I hate those!

To be honest, I hated those growing up as well. It didn’t matter how confident I felt with the material, sharing in front of all of my peers gave me stage fright!

After sharing our horror stories and embarrassing moments of formal classroom presentations, I asked them a simple question I wish we’d all ask our students more often… “How would you fix it?

We have more than formal presentations at our fingertips to challenge our students. Click To Tweet

Here were their ideas:

Video Explanation: Share your thinking via video! Choose a tech tool like Flipgrid or Screencastify and ask students to share their presentation in a video. This medium allows for students to not only share the information they have learned, but also practice other skills like video editing, appropriate body language, tone, and more! An added benefit is that they are able to go back and watch. Then they can reflect on how well they did and what they could improve.

Small-Group Sharing: Is it always necessary to present to a whole class? Consider allowing students to share with a small group of their peers. Depending on what you are grading, these sessions are a great opportunity to videotape students. This still allows students to continue to practice their presenting skills, but more than one student can present at a time!

Illustration on PowToon: Consider illustrations as a way for students to share their learning! These can be done on programs like PowToon or Scratch. If you are not assessing speaking and listening skills, then could you adjust medium in which the information is presented? Programs utilizing coding can offer students a multitude of options to use their creativity while they share their learning.

There is no doubt that classroom presentations have a place and time. The skill of sharing one’s thoughts and insight in front of a crowd is a skill that students must practice. However, we have more than formal presentations at our fingertips to challenge our students, thanks to a new 21st-century focus on technology and collaborative classrooms.

Share out which strategy you use with #TeachBetter as you explore new ways to tackle presentations with students!

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About Rae Hughart

Rae Hughart is a Middle-Level Math and Writing Educator in Illinois and the Director of Training and Development for the Teach Better Team. In 2017, Rae was honored with the Illinois State University Outstanding Young Alumni Award – inducting her into the University Hall of Fame. In 2018, Rae was honored again by the Henry Ford Innovator Award for her work within educators communities to build unity between local businesses and schools.