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.