An exploration of the use of technology to enhance the presentation skills of international students with reference to Puentedura’s SAMR model
Giving a presentation is often one of the more challenging tasks asked of our students and even confident speakers can give a presentation lacking in focus. Presenting in a language other than their mother tongue may cause some to feel overwhelmed. Consequently, students often dedicate most of their time to developing strategies such as preparing detailed notes; memorizing their presentation by heart, and finally, focusing almost exclusively on the content of their presentation as they strive to cover as much information as possible. Delivery often comes as an afterthought to many students with little consideration being given to the pace and timing of their presentation. While recent research has suggested that using technology more fully in the preparation and practice stages can help to address these issues for students, from a teaching perspective, making decisions about using technology in the classroom can often be a challenge for busy teachers who must select from a constantly changing array of tools and applications. However, if teachers can present a rationale for using technology based on sound educational theories, then this should go some way to alleviating the pressure felt by some to use the latest new tool simply for the sake of it. By encouraging students to experiment with and incorporate appropriate technology effectively into such a task as presenting, teachers can increase their students’ awareness of the importance of timing, delivery and visual aids. This in turn can lead to increased confidence for non-native speakers of English, and should also lead to a more engaging presentation for the audience. This article offers an overview of some of the theories which can be used to frame the use of technology for education with particular reference to Puentedura’s SAMR model and illustrates how it could be applied in the context of student presentations.