If you have been to a Google Summit or other Googley type event, you have most likely witnessed a Demo Slam. For those of you who have not, a Demo Slam is where a presenter (anyone really) is given 3 minutes to show off their coolest, geekiest, most interesting tech ‘thing’. I have seen Demo Slams on tricks in YouTube, useful Chrome Extensions, tools in Google Docs, and Google Easter Eggs.
I began doing Demo Slams in my classroom. It began as a way to teach my students some simple tricks to help them in class. For example, I showed them ‘Build With Chrome‘, how to search images with reuse policies, and a few Chrome Extensions. It was a success from the beginning.
My story doesn’t end here. Not to be outdone, my students begged to begin doing them. You see, they like to ‘Out Geek’ me. They have each made it their mission to find a trick or two that I don’t know about. And yes, they have taught me so much! Of course I was thrilled that they wanted to do slams. So now I have a sign up sheet in my class. They can sign up for a slam anytime they want. I also have official time keepers. I just sit back watch, and learn new things from them.
One of the biggest successes came with ‘Build With Chrome‘. I briefly showed the tool, and as always encouraged them to explore it more on their own. I have a student who loves Minecraft, Legos, and creating, but is not big on getting up in front of the class and presenting. He took the idea and ran with it. He signed up for his own account, showed others what could be done with it, and ASKED if he could do a Demo Slam on it!
So pleased with their initiative, I have offered to share out the Demo Slams with other teachers. Recently, 2 girls went to a second grade classroom to show them a few keyboard shortcuts. I had 2 boys read about Anne Frank, and give a Demo Slam about what they read. Yeah, we decided Demo Slams don’t have to be tech related. It’s a HUGE success with my students. They are confident, learn from their mistakes, take chances, and freely share their knowledge. What more could a teacher ask for?