Fifth grade recently spent several technology periods collaborating with science class on bottle biology project presentations. Students designed composting experiments, kept detailed notes, and took photos for weeks while their materials decomposed. Then, they prepared presentations that included speaking to the class and showing slides using the software of their choice. Nearly everyone chose Keynote.
The students used presentation software so that it would support their oral presentations, not steal attention from them. I relied heavily on examples from Presentation Zen (“Yoda vs. Darth Vader” and “Jobs, Gates, and the Zen Aesthetic“) to encourage students to limit text, use graphics, and say more than they wrote. While no student used the blank screen technique (one of my favorites), they created far more compelling graphics and used far less text than I had seen in previous student presentation projects. Well done, kids!