PowerPoint anti-educational tool or not?
PowerPoint as an educational tool, what is there not to like? Let’s start off with what there is not to like about PowerPoint. For one thing, a teacher might have to turn some of the lights off which makes the slideshow a nice soporific. Also, PowerPoint can be a deadly dull way to present those old overhead projector slides, or it can be a dazzlingly dull way to present boring material all dressed up in colors, clipart, and exotic fonts. PowerPoint can lock a teacher into a one way lesson that when it starts going downhill only gathers speed.
The potential for PowerPoint to be an anti-educational tool is powerful. To avoid this educational hell for student and teacher, teachers use PowerPoint as one tool in the repertoire that gives a backbone to the lesson but doesn’t hamstring the lesson. The gift that PowerPoint gives teachers comes from its strong visual capabilities. The gift requires teachers to make points simply, visually, and interactively. As a teaching tool, it provides a good starting point, but it doesn’t do the teaching. We can produce artistically interesting presentations, but we still have to do the teaching.