Students are not necessarily internet savvy, argues Kristin Arola, even though they practically all use the internet. In fact, knowing how to create a homepage is like owning a landline telephone for most students. However, students need to experiment with web design, notes Arola, as well as other forms of writing beyond posting within pre-chosen templates they have become accustomed to using. Instead, students need to be experimenting with both “form” and “content” when designing digital projects. Moreover, she cautions that these pre-chosen formats we all are (over)using are about making technology efficient and utilitarian, not about encouraging or enhancing technological creativity.
Arola’s article is definite food for thought, given what we often see in student presentations are imitations of the same types of powerpoint presentations of their professors. Clearly, as educators, we want to encourage critical and creative thinking of these “canned” models, and to have students focus on the design of the presentation as a vital part of the content as well.