In Mass Communication Teaching, everyone has taught class for 10 minutes, explaining an educational theory/theorist and using PowerPoint. In preparing for this short presentation, the class discussed PowerPoint. Everyone agreed that PowerPoint is used too often and typically not that effectively. But we agreed that PPT is an expected tool in one’s teaching strategies so we’d better be able to use it and be aware of best practices.
After the presentations, we discussed factors that are very important aspects of effective teaching — the qualities of our presentation beyond lesson plans and PowerPoint. They talked in pairs about effective teaching presentations. I had decided to use a stick figure to help illustrate the presentation qualities. So as they discussed the qualities on their lists, I animated and labels our teacher.
There are numerous problems with Powerpoint, but the worst, I believe, is that it leads it’s users into a linear format. As such, the presenter presents the slides in order, and there is little opportunity for interactivity.
The younger the audience, the less likely that a linear format will be effective. However, using new technology to make ppt non-linear, and using good learning theory as is presented in Presentationzen by Garr Reynolds, most presenters can drastically improve their design and delivery.
You’re right that PowerPoint often locks the teacher into a linear plan that does not allow for making adjustments based on students’ questions and comments or based on spur-of-the-moment inspirations the teacher may have while making the presentation.