EdTech 541 Relative Advantage of Presentation Software

I remember when I first starting teaching, we were all expected to incorporate technology into our classrooms. For most teachers, this was an intimidating request. Due to its ease of use and availability, it became standard practice for teachers to present their lessons using PowerPoint or some other presentation software. Administrators were pleased because they could “advertise” to parents and school board that the school was promoting 21st century learning through the use of technology. The problem was that some teachers simply transferred their notes onto PowerPoint slides without changing anything about the lesson or the manner in which they taught. The presentations were dull and it was tedious for students to watch a PowerPoint in every class day after day. The truth is that just because a teacher uses the computer for a lesson, does not necessarily mean that he/she is incorporating technology. When presentation software is not used effectively, it loses its value and that is when students see PowerPoints with a negative connation.

A PowerPoint can actually be a very useful educational tool for teachers when it is designed well and presented appropriately. Appealing to a variety of learning styles, engaging learners, focusing attention and providing visual aid are all advantages to using presentation software (Effective Use of Powerpoint, 2014). Furthermore, PowerPoint is an easy to use and easy to learn tool that is available to practically everyone. When presentations are created digitally, they are easy to edit, save, share with your students, and reuse in every class from year to year. For all these reasons, it is no wonder why educators love to use presentation software so often. However, since the use of PowerPoint is so prevalent, its misuse is also very common. Unfortunately, teachers try to overload slides with text, read the presentation word for word, use distracting animations, or overuse it as a tool (Shank, 2011).

As a teacher, any software tool or technology activity that you incorporate into your lesson should always enrich the learning process. A PowerPoint should enhance the presentation; it should never replace the need for the teacher delivering the presentation or distract students from subject at hand. Presentations are wonderful visual aids and allow students to focus their attention on a chart, picture, or screenshot during the lesson. Since the nature of this tool is visual communication, the material presented should be visual. Text should not be the primary focus of a presentation, especially since “we remember images better than we remember words” (Shank, 2011). This type of software tool is appealing because it meets the needs of visual learners and auditory learners. When a presentation is made interactive so that students participate with student response systems or interactive games, then it can meet the needs of kinesthetic learners as well. Interactive, visual presentations engage and motivate students. It takes time and effort to create well-designed, effective presentations, but the relative advantages of using this software tool can be extremely beneficial to students.


Effective use of PowerPoint. (2014). UCF Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. Retrieved on February 22, 2014 from http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/teachingandlearningresources/Technology/PowerPoint/index.php#worksheet.

Shank, Patti. (2011, May 6). Using PowerPoint Effectively in Your Courses. Faculty Focus. Retrieved February 22, 2014 from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/instructional-design/using-powerpoint-effectively-in-your-courses/.

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3 Responses to EdTech 541 Relative Advantage of Presentation Software

  1. ddainessmith says:

    I started developing presentations, just as you described. We were given PowerPoint to use in our classrooms and didn’t have any training to go with it. We all put our notes on the slides and went from there. Just like the students, it was fun to play with all the animation and graphic features to enhance the presentation but sometimes detracted from the point of the presentation. When I look back at materials that I created years ago, I can definitely see progression in my practice and have a good chuckle as well.

    I like how you emphasize the fact that PowerPoint is a visual aid. It’s so important to keep that in mind when developing classroom materials.


  2. Matthew Sipes says:


    Great post! Your points pretty much echo mine. You stated:

    A PowerPoint should enhance the presentation; it should never replace the need for the teacher delivering the presentation or distract students from subject at hand.

    I believe this point is the core reason we are doing this assignment. Novice educators turn on the computer and let the PowerPoint teach the class. Working with other teachers I have seen the pitfalls of not brushing up on the concepts on effective use of presentation software. You stated:

    Due to its ease of use and availability, it became standard practice for teachers to present their lessons using PowerPoint or some other presentation software.

    I think this is a main reason presentation software becomes a “crutch”. It is so easy to implement. I would continue quoting you, but your entire first paragraph hits the mark, and again, I think it is a core reason effective use of presentation software is part of our curriculum. So we don’t perpetuate the horrid crime and help those that do.

  3. jwbrunken says:

    I agree with Matthew in his comment. You really hit at the essence of this assignment, Marci. Like any software tool, presentation tools like PowerPoint offer incredible advantages in the classroom as long as they are used correctly. Used correctly they can make content more engaging, less complex, and more approachable. Unfortunately, it is used and abused.

    Your experience at your school was very interesting to me. I remember college being somewhat like that. Every class with a PowerPoint full of overloaded slides of text. The plus side was I never had to read my textbooks (good thing too because I worked four jobs), but it was boring, boring, boring. All I can say, like mention in my post, basic design skills should be required learning for educators and business professionals. IT would be a better use of class time than most of my teachers’ college classes were.

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