PowerPoint is a powerful tool and as all technology has its uses and misuses. Earlier this month I presented a lecture and did a workshop at Rhodes University for teachers in how to best use PowerPoint in the classroom.
The teachers I taught hail from schools both from our home province of Eastern Cape and the kingdom of Swaziland and are studying towards a Bachelor of Education in Information and Communication Technology, attending sessions at Rhodes University during school holidays while still working as full-time teachers at their schools.
At the lecture I outlined some of the positive educational outcomes of the use of PowerPoint and related programs like Libre Office Impress and Google Presentation such as better structuring of learning content, increased visual impact and heightened classroom interactivity. At the same time I highlighted some of the potential pitfalls excessive or inefficient use of PowerPoint can lead to such as being used as a replacement of books, simplification of learning material and reduction in teacher-student interaction.
In the subsequent workshop the teachers all got busy creating their own PowerPoint presentations around subjects they teach in their respective schools. The sympathetic 80-odd teachers all seemed to enjoy their increased exposure to Powerpoint. I look forward to continue working with them when they come back to Rhodes University in the winter holiday in July!