Death by PowerPoint
David JP Phillips spoke at TEDx Stockholm Salon 14 years ago on this very subject, Death by PowerPoint. I remember watching it then; it was a light bulb moment, what and how much we remember, the purpose of presentations, and how to do them better. He was of course, referring to presentations for adult corporate audiences because, at that time, PowerPoint in classrooms was largely unheard of.
Fast forward to today, specifically, our classrooms. PowerPoint is everywhere. Death by PowerPoint is not just for adults any longer. We are also doing it to kids, to young minds. Why are we doing this?
PowerPoint has become the go-to teaching and planning tool. Please note that there is no blame here. No judgement. I am not judging teachers for doing what they need to do in terms of compliance and planning. I get it. I have done it. I am simply hoping to spark a conversation, perhaps one that is animated in staffrooms and schools, one where maybe, just maybe, we begin to question when PowerPoint took over as the go-to way of working. Plan that way absolutely, but teach that way? Perhaps not.
Can you imagine being a young person in school knowing that a large part of your daily attention will be PowerPoint? Not only will there be a TV or screen set up for you to look at, but it will have multiple sources of information that you are supposed to be taking in, multiple places to be looking and reading, responding. Lots of information on screens, not so much conversation and questioning.
And we ask, ‘Why are kids so apathetic these days?’ Could there be too much in the way of PowerPoint and not enough of listening to a teacher share their passion and love for the subject they are teaching? Could they look at a PowerPoint at home after they have spent the lesson being inspired by the teacher? Could they be sick to death of PowerPoint?
Our kids need a connection with the people teaching them, and we have schools filled with amazing, passionate and skilled professionals who are great at what they do. Your students will learn from you…not your PowerPoint. Ignite their passion for your subject area by sharing your own, be the expert and share your love of what you know – you will see their faces light up and then feel yours as it does the same!
Check out other articles Cassie has written here.