Posts Tagged ‘PowerPoint’

If you haven’t already seen it, head over immediately to Rebecca Schuman’s hilarious and perceptive piece on Slate, PowerPointless, subtitled “Digital slideshows are the scourge of higher education”. Then, if you are a teacher, spend five minutes contemplating those things you have done with PowerPoint that you ought not to have done, for there is no health in you. There are people working on a suitable scale of penances; using the ‘spin’ animation is obviously a sackable offence. Students and other non-academics can, for the moment, start smugly compiling a PowerPoint Bingo card for the next lecture they have to attend; if you have to do PowerPoints they’re probably rubbish as well, but that’s our fault for setting such a bad example. “Faculty who abuse Powerpoint create students who abuse Powerpoint”.

On the whole, I don’t think my practice comes off too badly in terms of the various sins that Schuman identifies; I do at least keep the animation to a minimum, don’t try to cram too many words in tiny font onto a single slide, and have never ever simply read out the words on the screen. On the contrary, I treat the slideshow rather like a jazz standard in small group improvisation (more…)

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