Yea, kids can SLAM, too, and it turns out they are loaded with sass! Or . . . should that be the other way around???
I did my first-ever Demo Slam with the staff at a local elementary school, and it was so much fun, that I decided to try it out with students. I had been working with a group of 6th graders at that same school for a couple of months, and being quite Google savvy, they were quickly cashing out my repertoire of new and interesting things that I could show them. Talking this over with their teacher and their library media specialist, we realized that this put us in a wonderful predicament - what if the kids showed something to us?! And so the idea of a Kid Demo Slam was born.
The kids were pumped! Did they have the motivation? Yup. Did they have the tools? Sure (thanks to the dedicated scheduling efforts of their teachers). Did they have the skills? Heck yes. Did they have anxiety like their teachers did? NO! Well, actually that's not a solid no. A few of them did - some of them told me days in advance that they were very nervous, and even sitting their in their seats waiting for their names to be called, there were more than just a few nervous glances sent my way. But they were GREAT sports, and it turned out to be a wonderful time.
The students had one week to prepare a presentation, using any Google tool they wished, which was instructional, a little bit sassy, and kept under 3 minutes. They were instructed to share their topics, titles, and links with me via a Google Form. While prepping them for the event, I used the opportunity to teach them about URL shorteners (specifically goo.gl and bit.ly) which they were very excited to learn. Once I had all of their information in the Form-generated Sheet, I activated the Random Generator add-on so that I could select students by number of row.
On the day of the Slam, I showed up with just my video camera and tripod; since I was using Google tools, I didn't even bring my computer! I just logged into my Google account by adding myself as a user on the library media specialist's computer, and accessed the Sheet with all of the students' names and links. I demonstrated how to use the Random Generator by selecting 4 students to do a few of the housekeeping chores for me; by random row number, I selected a person to run the randomizer, a person to start and stop the video camera, a person to ensure that the Redcat Access microphone was in use around each presenter's neck, and a person to set and monitor a 3 minute Omnibox timer.
We had one hour, and 18 slammers; my biggest concern was that we would run out of time, since kids' nerves often cause them to ramble (especially when encouraged by a microphone)! As it turned out, the 3 minute time limit was perfect. They were so concerned with being concise out of fear that they would "go over," that most of them finished up in just under 2 minutes. There were a few who spoke with quiet, shaky voices, but for the most part, they were confident, clear, and sassy! Best of all, though, they were incredibly supportive of their peers, and the audible cries of "WOW" proved that they learned something! Impressive!
At the close of the last presentation, I brought their names back up in a Google Form, and asked them to choose their favorite two presentations. To the top vote-getter, I awarded a gift card to a local ice-cream shop . . . because their presentations were SO COOL!! To the winners (all of them), I awarded Google stickers and small treats. Because really, when we get to learn from and cheer for our friends, isn't that really a treat in itself?! SLAM!