Lately, I have noticed that Twitter and other social media like Facebook are filled with educators who make fun of PowerPoint. Tweets are flying through cyberspace talking down…or Tweeting down….to others for using the popular presentation tool. They Tweet and talk about how PowerPoint is somehow bad or outdated.
I have seen pictures of the late Steve Jobs from Apple being shared with words about not using PowerPoint, or how good presenters don’t need PowerPoint if they know their content. I’ve decided to put myself out in the open.
I’m coming out. I use PowerPoint!
It’s not that I do not see the value of various presentation tools that may be more interactive, because together with Ariel Price and Arnis Burvikovs we created the Connected Educators Series. Many of those books focus on new tools that teachers can use, but they also all focus on learning. And truth be told, I have tried a few but I go back to PowerPoint, because I don’t get caught up in the tool nor do I need to always be one of the cool kids.
One person shouldn’t have the right to make fun of another based on a tool that they use. After all, we try to teach kids not to do that. Shouldn’t we practice what we preach? Isn’t the idea of talking trash about a tool (I mean seriously how cool are you if you’re talking trash about a tool?), just another way of showing off?
PowerPoint may seem outdated or boring to some, but it certainly seems to inspire dialogue and creativity when used correctly.
What matters to me is not the tool that is used, but the information that we are providing. The technologies we use, including the presentation tools, are important to us because we all feel comfortable using one tool over another. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the goal that we have to be able to connect with every single person sitting in the room.
Should we, as presenters, try a tool outside of our comfort zone…absolutely! Sometimes, we have to remember that some presenters are using PowerPoint because they are presenting for the first time or are required to use it because of the content they are presenting.
Overall, how does the content presented inspire student learning?
With the right words or pictures on the screen, with the right presenter standing in front or by the side of participants inspiring dialogue with a sense of humility, any tool can work…even PowerPoint.
Your Turn: Do you use PowerPoint?