Using PowerPoint in the Classroom
Many teachers use the presentation software PowerPoint in the classroom as a teaching and learning tool. PowerPoint provides opportunities for teachers and students to incorporate multimedia to liven their presentations. Learn how to improve your use of PowerPoint in the classroom with this week’s tips.
This Week's Tips
Use PowerPoint Presentations for Review or Makeup Work (Monday)
Copy your presentations to a disk or to your class Web site for subsequent use. Preparing class presentations and activities in PowerPoint allows for easy reuse and adaptation for other activities. For example, students who have missed a day or more can easily access material presented in class. You can choose to save your presentation in a digital format or print out pages to provide to students. You can also offer the materials to students to review challenging material.
Incorporate Various Media in Your Presentations (Tuesday)
Use multimedia to connect content with real life examples shown in photographs, videos, and other media types. Multimedia presentations allow you to appeal to a wide variety of learning styles, while meeting important instructional goals. PowerPoint gives you the ability to bring in many different kinds of media, including graphic images, colored backgrounds, photographs, sound files, video clips, animations, and, of course, text. It also allows you to hyperlink pages within the presentation to external Web pages, as well as to other pages within the presentation.
Create Games to Review Content Using PowerPoint (Wednesday)
Use PowerPoint to create fun and interactive games that allow students to review material.
A whole variety of games can be created using the tool, including ones inspired by shows like Jeopardy! and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? To build a game, you can use the hyperlink function to recreate the interactivity of buttons on a game screen. If you don’t have the time or inclination to learn how to make a game screen, you can use one of the many templates available for classroom use online. Try the Teachnet Web site
for a good selection. Be sure to read the fine print regarding acceptable uses of the template. Of course, you will have to create your own questions and answers.
Ensure Students Have Basic PowerPoint Skills (Thursday)
Prepare students adequately for projects that require PowerPoint for presentations, oral reports, or other assignments. All students should take a tutorial prior to being allowed to use the program. This will ensure that most students have a familiarity with the program before they begin. A little training might also help cut down on excessive questions from students just learning PowerPoint. If possible, pair students of advanced and low skill levels and communicate the expectation that the more skilled student mentor the less-skilled one in using the program. For projects assigned early in the year, grades can be given for the effort of the mentoring and learning that you observe.
Encourage Students to Use PowerPoint Effectively (Friday)
Help students use PowerPoint as a means to an end (presenting their work) rather than an end in itself (creating a presentation). Emphasize the knowledge and skills that should be attained by completing the project. This will help students focus on learning goals. Although creating a multimedia presentation is often fun, the research, ideas, and analytical skills that go into the project are at least equally important as the way the material is presented. Reflect this emphasis in your grading structure. You can also help students by providing tips that can apply to any presentation, such as using appropriate body language, incorporating powerful images, projecting enthusiasm, and using a good speaking voice.