I first began using Microsoft PowerPoint to create graphics for teaching materials to be used in the classroom. The media specialist at the public school I taught at in the U.S. had some interesting graphic words (which I thought were just text at the time) that I tried to duplicate on Microsoft Word. However, I could not. When I asked her for help to do it, she informed me that she had used PowerPoint She showed me how to use it to achieve the effects I desired using the Word Art graphics. I was definitely excited about the new things that I could do with this software to enhance the teaching-learning process and have been using it ever since.
Not only can teachers use PowerPoint, but students can also utilize it to create presentations. It can help students hone their organizational skills by determining what is relevant and the appropriate sequence that information should be presented “as a result of the automatic limitation of information displayable” (Lever-Duffy & McDonald, 2008, p.189) on each slide. Lever-Duffy and McDonald (2008) also indicate that PowerPoint helps students develop discrimination and critical thinking skills as they “review the quantity of material they have found in their research, and then pare it down and identify the key elements” (p.189). The use of PowerPoint allows students to acquire “valuable experience with multimedia-type software and with basic computer and software skills” (Lever-Duffy & McDonald, 2008, p.189). It can also improve their retention and learning.
Teachers can help students acquire the preceding skills by using the outline feature of PowerPoint. According to Norton and Sprague, the outline feature encourages students to brainstorm “the organization of a particular presentation” (Norton, P. & Sprague, D., 2001, p. 191). “Teachers can create and provide students with an outline that clearly articulates what kinds of information should go on each slide” (Norton, P. & Sprague, D., 2001, p. 191). PowerPoint is a great tool that provides a break from the standard lecture presentation of material allowing teachers to be more creative in presenting material that will spark the interest of their students and which can also teach students a valuable skill that will be useful in their future careers.
What have been your experiences with PowerPoint?
Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J. B. (2008). Administrative Software. In A. E. Burvikovs (Ed.), Teaching and learning with technology (p189).Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
Norton, P. & Sprague, D. (2001). Technology for Teaching. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.