In response to Steve Dembo’s post on teach42 “can
your presentation stand on its own?”, and a recent announcement that Google
will soon unveil a powerpoint
clone, I thought it might be relevant to look into the research on using
Recent research on cognitive load
theory suggests that PowerPoint is doing more damage than
From the full story
in The Sydney Morning Herald:
It is more
difficult to process information if it is coming at you in the written and
spoken form at the same time.
Professor John Sweller states:
effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different
form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because
it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to
understand what is being presented.
If you wish
to use a PowerPoint presentation, consider using it as a visual aid.
PowerPoint should not be used to display only text.
If you have notes to present [slide 1] consider using images to
emphasize your points [slide2].
When thinking about this topic,
I’m reminded of this comment one of my
colleagues wrote a few months back: "I love PowerPoint, but for me
it’s used to enhance my instruction, not remind me of what I need to say."
Her statement took me back to a book I read several years ago by Clifford
Stoll title, "High
Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections
by a Computer Contrarian."
Here is an excerpt from the chapter title The Plague of PowerPoint:
Want to make
a splash at your next public talk? Know your material so well that you can
speak off the cuff, without computer, laser pointer, or video projector.
Scribble your important points on a chalkboard and emphasize them with your
voice. Face your audience, not that computer monitor. Throw out that tired
clipart and the cliches about the explosion of technology, the challenge of the
future, and the crisis in education. Let me hear your voice, not a
pre-programmed sound effect. Show me your ideas, not someone else’s template.
Stoll has a point. When was the last time you walked away from a lecture and
said, "wow, that lady’s PowerPoint was awesome!" You can
read the entire chapter here.
The bottom-line is that PowerPoint is a great tool when
used correctly. When used poorly it can be boring
But you don’t have to delete all your shows. Here is a tutorial to help you improve your