Thursday, February 11, 2010

Think Twice Thursday #5 - Oh Come On...Not Another Power Point?!?!

Now, let me start off by saying that I am probably one of the most guilty users of Power Point in my classroom.  I created and have a Power Point for every unit that I teach.  I can only imagine how boring it was for my students after the 2nd unit to see me start up my computer and projector to begin another section of lecture using Power Point.

Power Point is a very useful tool.  It is a very easy way to present information.  It is a very easy way to organize information for students.  It is very easy to add pictures and video.  It is also very easy to use wrong and use slides the wrong way.  It is also very redundant, and thus, very boring.  Students are tired of Power Point.  Most of them will tell you they have done more Power Point than any other kind of projects.  How many Power Point Presentations have you created???

Five years ago...heck, two years ago, Power Point was THE method of using technology in the classroom for many teachers.  Because of Web 2.0, teachers have more options for presenting content to their students.  So with this post, I make a suggestion.  Think Twice about using Power Point for your next lecture presentation.  Instead, use some of the other tools out there.

Digtial Story Telling - Use sites like PhotoPeach (which you can turn your presentation into Quizzes) or Animoto.  Tell your lecture through pictures.  You can also download Photostory 3 from Microsoft.  Another option is Voicethread and make the lecture more interactive.  Storybird would be another option, and your students could add to the lecture

Glogster - Make a lecture into a Glog.  You can easily link to outside websites that enhance your lecture and then return back to the Glog.  Embed videos and audio clips for your students to watch and listen to while you take a break from the lecture.  A great change of pace to Power Point, with some of the same features.

Prezi - Take that linear Power Point Presentation, and put it on a 3D canvas.  Upload videos, pictures, and PDF's.  Zoom in and focus on a certain aspect of your presentation.  Students who have not seen Prezi, will probably be more attentive in class that day seeing you use a new presentation tool.

Comic Strips and Cartoons - Yes...Comic Strips and Cartoons.  Make your lecture into comic books.  Make it entertaining for your students.  Imagine the reaction students would have that day if you had a cartoon for their lecture that day.  You can visit my previous post for information on Comic Strip and Cartoon websites.

Virsona - Create lecture from the perspective from someone in history in the form of a chat.  Let your students ask the questions to lead the lecture.  You can see my blog post about it here.  Or for entertainment purposes, you could use a site like Blabberize, and record the lecture ahead of time.

Timeline - There are plenty of Timeline Applications on the web.  You can visit my blog post about them here.  Take your lecture to a new level and present it in a timeline, giving your students chronological order within the lecture, helping students with their organization.

Again, don't get me wrong, Power Point is great...but it is time that we rethink or Think Twice about how we use it in our classrooms.


  1. Michael, these are fantastic ideas to supplement or replace PowerPoint in the classroom. The visual and organization of a Power Point are good, but having other ways to accomplish the same task (and in many cases in a better way) are great. I hadn't seen Virsona before, getting ready to explore now.

  2. I suggest adding as an alternative to Prezi if you need to create your own professional look and feel.


  3. Thanks Pete. What is funny is that not 1 hour after writing this post, I discovered Ahead. I think I might try and write a post on it tomorrow if I get time to check it out.

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  5. We have Smartboards at my school and so many have switched their PowerPoints to Notebook Software and use it the same way. Some have made them slightly more interactive, but pretty much use them the same way. These are great options to change up the pace of class. Thanks for the post.