Education: To PowerPoint or not to PowerPoint - that is the question

All classrooms have a Windows-based PC, a data projector and a "smart board" which acts as a screen and white board.

If you decide to use PowerPoint slides you can take them on a USB stick - but allow a few extra minutes to set up at the start of the talk - the teacher will be there to help you.

Keep your eye on time!

  • Take a clock,
  • take an egg-timer,
  • put your watch on the table/desk in front of you,
  • run the clock/alarm app on your tablet or smart phone,
  • watch the classroom clock (most classrooms have a clock),
  • or even ask one of the class to remind you every 10 minutes as you go along.

There are pros and cons with PowerPoint.
  • It allows you to lay out what you want to cover during the talk.
  • It is an aide memoir to keep you on course with nothing forgotten.
  • It allows you to practice your talk to get the timing right.
  • It allows you to put more on a slide than you need to actually talk about - for example, a list of gods or religions.
  • It allows you to mix text with images - the Internet is full of images you can capture and use.
  • It is visual - and most of what we learn comes through our eyes.
  • It allows you to leave a copy with the teacher.
  • You may not feel confident using PowerPoint to create a presentation. There is nothing worse that being out of your comfort zone - you must feel comfortable. We can help if you wish but the best advice is "if you don't feel comfortable with it, don't use it."
  • It is rigid - it lacks the spontaneity of someone just talking.
  • Pupils and teachers (and everyone in business) see PowerPoint presentations every day of their lives.
  • It forces a seating structure which you may not want. For example, lower down primary school it may work best if pupils are seated on the floor and you are seated on a chair in story-teller mode.


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