Friday, January 15, 2010

MLK Assembly: a few production notes

Dear school my Chickeny children attend:

I went to today's Martin Luther King Jr. assembly, and have a few production notes. Hopefully you will take them in the spirit they're intended...

First off, I understand that much of the work was done by the kids, and for this I am truly grateful. It's nice that they get to learn stuff, then turn it in to a message to share with others. That said, here are the notes:
  • I understand that you don't want to quash their little creative juices, but if you're going to let 5th graders design stuff in PowerPoint, give them some general style guidelines first. Point out the value of open space. Mention that it's well nigh impossible to read 12 point type when it's projected on a screen. Bring up the fact that, if someone's going to talk along with the slides, you don't have to have all the words on each slide. That's why Bill Gates invented the bullet point.
  • Before the teacher, room parent, or whoever it was reads the audio to go with the slide show, have them test the equipment so there aren't huge clunking noises in the recording.
  • And while they're at it, maybe they could fact check the script. I'm fairly certain MLK's son wasn't "Martin Luther King Jr. the third." They probably dropped the "Jr." part, I'm guessing.
  • For all the parts of the presentation that involve audio, test out the amplification system before you're in the middle of the assembly.
Other than the technical stuff, though, I must say it was quite enjoyable. Keep up the good work!

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