Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Death by PowerPoint

I have recently delivered 9 hours of in-house PowerPoint training. And it was very, very satisfying...

Since projectors arrived in classrooms, all teachers have been forced to consider whether to let PowerPoint into their lessons. And like some creature from an alien dimension, it can take over a lesson and convert everything it touches into bullet points. Some students now waft between lessons, watching endless identical presentations using that funky design template (you know, the one with the fireworks at the top. Yes, that one. The one that your boss used at her last INSET to tell you how we needed a five point action plan to implement the post-inspection strategy.)

PowerPoint is a poor master. My favourite PowerPoint bashing site is the Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation; the beginning of Absolute PowerPoint is also very funny.

However, if you see PowerPoint as a tool for producing animated teaching aids, it is very, very powerful indeed. It was delightful watching teachers get excited about the possibility of making animated maps of the Berlin Airlift, interactive quizzes for MLD kids on life skills and flow charts that appeared one arrow at a time. Think of PowerPoint as a replacement for all those irritating drawings you always do year after year, the ones that you think are amusing and the students think are sad...

3 comments:

The Teacher said...

Another first class posting. Thanks for the links. Gettysburg Address is superb.

M said...

May I recomend a superb website called presentationzen as a starting point for excellent presentation design. Watch out though for advice, from suited and booted consultants, working from powerbooks wearing a Breitling watching with Kurt Geiger shoes.

M said...

What's all this blog owner approval... is this because I called a certain Councilor a hippy on their blog... that's censorship that is.