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Recent thoughts about PowerPoint

January 16, 2010

I originally thought I would prepare PowerPoint presentations and have reusable materials thus making my life easier.  Sure fooled myself.  I have consistently been revising files, even those I revised as late as last semester.  `I used to think it would be nice to have files of lessons I could just pull and use.  30 years of teaching and it still hasn’t happened.

Due to a computer problem on Wednesday, I had to teach a BC class,i.e., before computers.  The class seemed to go well and was fun, but I had been up late the night before revising the PowerPoint for this lesson. It was somewhat frustrating.  But equally frustrating was the fact that PowerPoint in Mac doesn’t show or use vector graphic images, so I couldn’t see the images and made changes based on them no longer being there.  Anything that makes more work is not appreciated.

As I go back over my presentations to get ready for this semester’s classes, I find myself simplifying by removing the backgrounds provided by Microsoft and relying more and more on plain backgrounds.  I tried a dark blue background with white text in one class, and it seemed like the background just sucked up the light in the room.  I also make little quizzes in PowerPoint with quick feedback by copying the questions and providing answers on the question items.  I usually have them take out a piece of scrap paper and write their answers down before we go through the answers to the 3, 4, or 5 items.   Quick review gives a chance for self-assessment. 


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