To PowerPoint or Not to PowerPoint

PowerPoint is one of the first presentation software that people use.  I have created many presentations  and sat through many more.  Some are great and others, lets just say they couldn’t have ended quick enough. Without proper guidance, this tool can be overused and cause severe boredom.

This week we focused on using interactive presentations in teaching.  The relative advantage for students to use Power Point is that they love creating them and if done properly, they are very rewarding.  The best thing a teacher can do if using PowerPoint or Prezi in the classroom, is have clear expectations.  I give my students a list of what they should and shouldn’t’ have in their presentation.  I get motion sick rather easy and a crazy PowerPoint or Prezi make me nauseous. It is a joke in my classroom that it is not a good thing if you make the teacher sick.

I believe less is more.  The presentation is meant to be a guide for the audience as well as the speaker.  The heart of the presentation should be presented by the speaker.  This means, in a situation where the speaker is not live, a script or a recording can go with the presentation to make sure the audience understands the points that are being made or the information being presented.

PowerPoint is an acceptable tool in many situations.  Prezi is also another tool that can be used especially if it needs to be accessed via the internet or the student does not have PowerPoint software at home.  Clear guidelines and expectations will help the experience for both the presenter and audience be rewarding.

PowerPoint also has several interactive features that are not utilized.  I have to admit I have never used one to create a a poll or quiz.  It looked interesting but I feel that there are other tools that do it easier and better.  If in a lurch, then I might consider it.

Overall, to PowerPoint or not to PowerPoint should be left to the discretion of the student and teacher.  If the teacher is not willing to take the time to outline expectations then I say don’t use it.  Both the student and audience will suffer.  If, there are guidelines and expectations then it is a great tool.  It keeps the audience and speaker engaged in the presentation.

Interactive Presentation


About andiarnold

I am a student in the MET program at Boise State.
This entry was posted in 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to To PowerPoint or Not to PowerPoint

  1. Lynn Johnson says:

    Andi, I agree with two things you point out. It is never good to make the teacher sick. I suppose the students also enjoy the fact that they can joke about that. Secondly, the slides should be a guide. I don’t think the slides necessarily have to stand on their own, but need to support the speaker. Students working with Power Point have a tendency to be wordy, as do adults. I thought it was difficult to narrow down my slides and I imagine it will be for students too, but it will be a valuable process. I am curious, what do you encourage your students to include and what do you tell them is not to be included?

  2. Andi,
    Great job. I also believe that less is more. Sometimes as a teacher it is sometimes hard to remember that because you want your students to know everything. But with presenting, you have to take into consideration the focus of those in front of you. This was a great read. Thanks.

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