Friday, May 30, 2008

PowerPoint Points

Check this article "Of PowerPoint and Pointlessness" http://www.wired.com/culture/education/news/2002/09/54675 , and this YouTube Video, "Death by PowerPoint" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFfFQ9XU7Jw, and post your comments.

image from: www.cs.nyu.edu

3 comments:

Mike said...

This was a very interesting take on the use of PowerPoint in the classroom. I really have never heard a negative on Powerpoint except for a situation in which their is a monotonic teacher reading lines on a screen. I actually disagree with this article in that although in some cases bells and whistels can be distracting for students I believe that these bells and whistles help the students learn and process difficult content material.
We started to see just how much these can work last week in class. Whether it was jeopardy or that fantastic PowerPoint on famous art. In the jeopardy slideshow their were many bells and whistels yet students have told me this year that jeopardy is the best way for them to review the difficult material.
I would encourage all teachers to at least try utilizing PowerPoint at least once and then get feedback from your toughest critics ... Your Class. That is the best way to really know what worked and what didnt.

Sherree said...

I agree with the article that a teacher can't rely on a PowerPoint as a crutch to get through a lesson. PowerPoint is a tool that should enhance the learning environment. As well, there is a delicate balance of "bells and whistles" between awesome PowerPoints and absurd PowerPoints.

Something that comes to mind with the bells and whistles is that we need to be aware of the students with special needs. Students with ADD or autism type disabilities may be so distracted by the extras that it will take them far away from the content, even though other students may be ok. The expression, "Keep it simple, stupid" comes to mind, and it's less work on the teacher! Everyone all around is happy!

Christine said...

Wow! I watched the Death by PowerPoint video on YouTube. The content was rushed and confusing. Not to mention the background music, it was completely obnoxious! Needless to say, I was not impressed.

I found the article on PowerPoint to be far more intelligent and comprehensible. So I will comment on that. I feel that teachers must make decisions on the value of PowerPoint presentations as they do all other learning materials. They must consider their students' needs, learning styles, and other issues before making a decision. Teachers who know their students will use good judgement when making these decisions. One must also consider the educational benefits, if any, of presenting information via PowerPoint. There should be valid reasons for using this technology in presenting materials. As Sherri stated, at times, bells and whistles can be extremely distracting to certain students. If a teacher takes the time to think and plan out the presentation according to his/her students' needs, it should be a complete success.

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