PowerPoint is a brilliant tool for learning in both student and teacher directed situations. I have used PowerPoint software numerous times for school, university and work presentations. They don’t have to be a boring, painful black and white presentation with pages full of endless text.
PowerPoint’s can be exciting and engaging, fun, easy to take notes from, helpful to explain abstract concepts and they cater for a variety of learning styles.
PowerPoint used properly is a simple and engaging resource, “one of the most powerful tools for disseminating information ever known!” (Technology Tutorials, 2009).
An example of how a PowerPoint presentation can be implemented in the classroom would be using it to engage or ‘hook’ the learners at the beginning of a lesson. This can be achieved by using relevant images, videos, sound effects and animations about the focussed topic to capture the students’ attention for the task ahead. The learning manger can make it clear and understandable of what is required from the students at the beginning of the lesson by providing a schematic organiser listing what will be covered throughout the lesson.
In previous schools I have seen students create a PowerPoint presentation for their school information night and for a celebration night for a graduating class. Their slides contained photos and small video clips, importing music from the school choir into the background, creating an appealing presentation designed for a meaningful and real life situation (Kearsley & Schneiderman, 2009). I think PowerPoint’s are an excellent lifelong tool that students will use regularly.
Throughout my PowerPoint creations I have had a few challenges you may be able to relate to such as:
• Images looking blurry or small
• Text difficult to read because of the chosen font, colour or size
• Sound and animations not working on different computers
After creating more and more presentations I began to figure out these minor problems by speaking to peers or my students. Yes, we too can learn a great deal from our students. To fix those problems listed above from reoccurring I found that:
• Using images that were originally large in size are best to manage if they are needed to enlarge (photos of your own work best)
• Preview your presentation constantly by pressing F5 to see how the text looks and ensure the background colour suits the text and font chosen
• Ensure that you save your PowerPoint as PowerPoint show this will ensure that no matter what computer you are on sound and animation files will save and run accordingly.
Overall there are multiple uses for PowerPoint presentations; they are an effective tool to not only engage students, enhance knowledge, understanding and skills for a particular task but to assist learning managers with their teaching. It is an easy and fun program to navigate around and is a tool that students will use constantly.
Until next time,
Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 13, 2009, from
Technology Tutorials. (2009). PowerPoint in the classroom. Retrieved August 12, from http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/powerpoint/