PowerPoint and Google Slides. Both of these presentation tools are used frequently in classrooms. Usually these tools are used with a teacher in the front of the room, lecturing, while many students are nodding their heads, pretending to pay attention to the monotonous and repetitive slides. However, with a few simple additions, these presentation tools can be effective technological tools in a classroom to guide teachers as they deliver necessary content. It is easy to make these presentations come to life. Add a few links, a few videos, and a few interactive elements and you have something that transforms a boring, dull lecture into something that is potentially engaging, interactive, and intriguing.
Presentation slides can be a useful tool for the teachers and instructors. They provide a guide for the direction of the lesson or lecture and help the teacher to stay on topic. It’s easy for a teacher to lose focus and direction during lectures, especially when students ask the questions that are off-topic. Additionally, presentation slides can be easily modified. Teachers can easily add, adjust, or recreate sections of their presentation without much time.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that presentations slides be used appropriately. Presentations should never guide the instruction. Rather, the teaching should guide the presentations. Keeping the slides interesting and informative is a balance that instructors often find challenging. Busy slides are distracting. Boring slides cause an audience to lose interest. Too much information on a slide can create a feeling of panic in an audience trying to take notes. Again, it’s a balancing act.
Interactive elements might be the key to finding the balance. Useful videos can add rich and interesting content that doesn’t come from the teacher. Links to interesting and interactive sites can break up the monotony of the “lecture-notes-next slide” routine. These links can also direct students to explore topics more thoroughly than the in-class lecture allows.
When instructors can create presentations that can find just the right balance, they can be a powerful teaching tool.
IIMS 1994: Khoo – interactive multimedia for teaching, learning and presentations. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2014, from http://www.ascilite.org.au/aset-archives/confs/iims/1994/km/khoo.html
LEARN Center. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2014, from http://www.uww.edu/learn/presenclass.php