Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Engage me... with PowerPoint

Everyone who attends Uni knows what it can be like so sit in front of a 'slide show' of lecture notes viewing slide after slide after blurry slide full of dots points and quotes. Honestly it is not very different from notes on a blackboard, it just takes less time to transition.

However, PowerPoint presentations for the classroom do not have to be this way. PowerPoint itself has so many gadgets and buts and pieces you can add and embed it can be a highly engaging and even interactive teaching or presentation tool.

We all know that direct teaching has its place in the classroom. Using PowerPoint is a great way of moving Direct Teaching into the 21st century, where kids expect to be engaged in everything they do (Prensky, 2005). You can add sound effects, music, pictures, shapes, graphics, animations, tables, and even embed video clips and add hyperlinks to other files or web pages . In using such features in a PowerPoint presentation, learning managers can present graphics before the text (Prensky, 2001). Hyperlinking allows for random access, meaning students can direct 'where to next' (Prensky, 2001). Learners can also be encouraged to parallel-process by including different media on the one slide (Prensky, 2001). In simple terms, PowerPoint allows Learning Managers to 'reach' their Digital Native learners, even when having to use Direct Teaching, so that they are engaged, rather than engraged (Prensky, 2001).

Prensky, M. (2001). 'Digital Natives and Immigrants.' On the Horizon, Vol. 9 No. 5. MCB University Press.
Prensky, M., (2005). 'Engage Me or Enrage Me: what today's learners demand'. Educause Review, September/October

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