Sam Harrelson

Powerpoint in the Classroom Must Die



His philosophy is that the information delivery common in today’s classroom lectures should be recorded and delivered to students as podcasts or online videos before class sessions. To make sure students tune in, he gives them short online multiple-choice tests.

So what’s left to do during class once you’ve delivered your lecture? Introduce issues of debate within the discipline and get the students to weigh in based on the knowledge they have from those lecture podcasts, Mr. Bowen says. “If you say to a student, We have this problem in Mayan archaeology: We don’t know if the answer is A or B. We used to all think it was A, now we think it’s B. If the lecture is ‘Here’s the answer, it’s B,’ that’s not very interesting. But if the student believes they can contribute, they’re a whole lot more motivated to enter the discourse, and to enter the discipline.”

In short, don’t be boring.

via chronicle.com

The part in bold is exactly my approach for student engagement. I admit that I do rely on Keynote too often, but I’m going to do my best to shift towards more engaging conversations pre-and-post lab work this year.

Looking back on my own education, I couldn’t agree more that PowerPoint is a classroom hindrance and security blanket for both teachers and students when used solely in the classroom.



Posted: 07.21.2009

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