Assessed presentations are on the horizon for lots of students here in Law and Legal Services. With this in mind our guest blog is written by ICT and Computing Lecturer Andrew Kennedy and contains some vital tips!
Presenting and IT: The Perfect Combination
Presentations can be a daunting prospect for many. So aside from practice makes perfect, we need to utilise what’s available to make our lives easier. Using IT can do exactly that, make our lives easier.
Captivating your audience can really drive home the message you’re trying to make. You can make your presentation stand out using IT in many different ways. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘death by PowerPoint’ and I am sure many have experienced the feeling too. We need to introduce software that’s different, that can capture an audience and make them pay attention.
http://prezi.com/ – Prezi is “a story telling tool for presenting ideas on a virtual canvas”. Prezi is a fantastic way to present your information differently. Look at this example of what the possibilities that are available using Prezi:
You can see from this example that you can really change the way that you present your information, so that you can draw in your audience so they can engage with the content. It’s easy to set up, you don’t need to download expensive software and your files are available anytime, anywhere on the cloud.
When presenting, one of the most important things to consider is your audience. You have to make sure that your material is aimed correctly so that they are engaging with your content. One thing that IT can do is allow you to cater to many learning styles within one presentation.
You can add audio files, insert video files, add images, tables, timelines; change colour schemes to differentiation for learners with educational needs. There are so many possibilities that can help filter your content to all types of learners. This again helps you make your content accessible to all.
One of the best things about IT is allowing you to be flexible with your content. No matter what the subject matter, there is software that can complement you and add real substance and style, helping your information look polished and professional. You can be visually profound, using IT to compliment your content to really achieve a strong, well-pitched presentation to your audience.
We are excited to publish our first blog post written by a former student of the Law Access Diploma!
Leeds Law Access: Because you’re worth it!
I had decided to return to education at 22 to improve my prospects in something I enjoyed; law. I joined the Leeds City College Access to Law course with an aim to eventually practising as a solicitor. Law is a very difficult field to perform well in and I was hoping I had what it took to complete the access, go on to an LLB and LPC and then be lucky enough to get a training contract. It turns out that if you have big ambitions on this course, it can be very daunting (off-putting even) when you first start. The statistics are thrown at you and the minute numbers of students who go on to be successful do make you realise just how small a fish you are in a very big pond.
It seems bizarre then that in fact, after only a few months on the Access course I had been flooded with confidence, given a new career path and even set my sights on leading the judiciary one day as the Lord Chancellor!
What had happened within those few months was amazing and due completely to the brilliant team who run the course. My tutors had all noticed my abilities and my particular personality traits. It took them all no time at all to tell me that I would be bored stiff and useless as a solicitor. I should be progressing to a career as a barrister is what I was told. I didn’t accept that I had any chance of making it into one of the most prestigious and exclusive professions at first, not least because of how difficult it can be just to get on the training programme, the BPTC, let alone magic up a pupillage, or rarer still a tenancy!
This is where the wonderful team at Leeds City College came into their own. They know they’re not dealing with school-leavers who had rich parents and who had attended Eton or Harrow. The tutors were fantastic at tailoring and pushing the right information in my direction. I discovered I didn’t need to attend Oxbridge to make it at the bar and that there were affordable ways to get to the BPTC! These insights were invaluable to me. My tutors told me specifically where I could apply (Northumbria University) to have the BPTC fees paid by the Student Loan Company. I was told what qualities I had which would make me successful and I was pushed to achieve this.
The short version is that I did achieve it. I got my distinction on the Access to Law, was accepted to Northumbria on the Master in Law (Exempting) and I shipped off to Newcastle. The tutors were fantastic at spotting what I already knew and in understanding my learning methods which made the course nothing but enjoyable. For a course with many other people, at varying ability levels, I felt strangely catered to.
My first two years at Northumbria University have seen me achieve 1st grades and even, in my beloved constitutional law, a mark of 87%. I have been as lucky as I thought I never would be and have made it onto the BPTC portion of the degree, beginning in September 2014. For this I had to face off competition and come within the top 20 students studying the Master in Law. I did! I passed the additional Bar Aptitude Test and I then got a job writing for a magazine ‘The Student Lawyer’. I write constitutional articles for the magazine, but have also written about the difficulty in making it to the Bar. I have worked with barristers in the North East on some fascinating and emotive trials and hearings.
My success so far has everything to do with the team at Leeds City College. Without the enormous encouragement, tailored information, personal understanding and fiery (but constructive) arguments I would certainly not be on the route I now find myself on. The tutors care and will do, seemingly, anything to help ambitious students progress and succeed. If like me, you aim very high and need a spring board, Leeds City College Access to Law tutors are nothing short of perfect. If you are a student who wants more stability and support, the ability for the team to continue working with you on foundation level degrees is a great opportunity. Ultimately it is the personal level of understanding and learning which is so impressive. It isn’t just an access course because it gets you onto a higher qualification. Leeds City College provides an access course which gets you the key to the perfect door for your future ambitions. Sarah, Nisreen, Nicola, Paul and Ann have given me the chance of a future I never thought possible and now, I know I will be the best barrister to ever step foot in a courtroom.