PowerPoint is an extremely easy tool to use and most people would have used it already over the years in workplace situations. Students have also been using Power Point to create presentations for class projects, assignments and orals for some years. It has evolved over that time into a wonderful tool for learning in both a student and teacher directed situation.
PowerPoint can be used to accommodate all learning styles and really engage the learner if used appropriately. Conversely, if used inappropriately, they can be boring and ‘enraging’. This has been the case often in the past, (I know I have endured plenty of fixed slides full of too much information and tedious clip art!) and learning managers need to make an effort to become more digitally aware when using Power point in the classroom. The features offered by the newer versions are fabulous! There is plenty of scope for animations embedded within the PowerPoint as well as the facility to export it as a movie.
I love watching PowerPoint presentations which are interesting and feature graphics and information in an easy to read, simple format and I also find this visual presentation method helps me to recall the facts.
Research conducted by Frey & Birnbaum (2002) from the University of Pittsburgh found that:
a) The majority of surveyed students had positive perceptions about the use of PowerPoint in lectures.
b) 69% of the students agreed that PowerPoint presentations held their attention.
c) Only 12 % preferred the use of a whiteboard in lectures.
d) 79% of respondents regarded lecturers who used PowerPoint to be more organised.
e) 72% of students said that visual images on PowerPoint helped them to recall content.
It’s interesting that such a high number of students connected PowerPoint usage with organisation in regard to their teachers.
I created a simple PowerPoint (below) which I was able to embed into my Blog using scribd, a great little publishing program.I had to modify the original though and remove slide four which had a YouTube clip as scribd doesn't support flash yet.
Global Conflicts Blog
Frey, B.A & Birnbaum, D.J (2002) Learners’ Perceptions on the Value of PowerPoint in Lectures Retrieved August 1, 2009. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/1a/43/f5.pdf