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October 2, 2007 / Ben Chun

Choose Your Own Adventure

Part of the funding for the classes I teach comes from a vocational education program. One of the things that’s been determined to be of vocational value is the Microsoft Office Specialist certifications. So, part of my job is to teach students how to pass the PowerPoint test. Part of that test involves skills/knowledge of Action Buttons and Hyperlinks. (These are features within PowerPoint that allow you to create clickable areas that take you to other slides in the presentation.) I’m trying to teach this without being boring, and talking with friends last week we came up with a great idea: Choose Your Own Adventure.

What could have been a one-day lesson like, “here’s the menu, there’s the dialog box, let’s all forget about this immediately,” is now a week-long project that has students staying after school because they want to work on their stories. The best part has been seeing the range of creativity. I have one student whose story involves a maze, which you have to move your mouse through without touching the walls. He used rectangles to make the walls, and added rollovers that immediately take you to a slide that tells you that you lose. There’s another student writing a poem. Another asked me if she could write fan fiction. Another is using her Quinceañera as the basis for the story. I love it.

I think when they’re done, I’ll have them create maps of each other’s stories.

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