What is your deepest fear?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Powerpoint killed the classroom star...

I was in a class yesterday afternoon and was shocked by how little I came out of the lecture with. For many who have been students before, you might simply say this is a normal thing for somebody not paying attention. In this particular case I would beg to differ. I was really struggling to pay attention and that seemed to make things worse. All this for one simple reason.... Microsoft Powerpoint presentations. For some who might be anti-microsoft products, this is not one of those times when a software war prevented me from paying attention... it was simply the fact that the lecturer seemed to be talking to himself and reviewing the slideshow that he had prepared. Worse still he had this little light pointer thing that was darting all over the slides till you got a headache trying to keep up with what he was pointing at.

Seriously though, I think that powerpoint or whatever kind of presentation software are used or rather misused have ruined the ability of people to fully prepare themselves for a presentation like a class. It seems that once we have made enough effort on a powerpoint presentation we imagine that we are ready to go out and conquer. My understanding of slideshows was that they were visual aids for the presenter to illustrate clearly what he is talking about but not to become the main focus. The clue is actually right there in the word.... visual "AID"! A helper... not the main course. Now it seems we are doomed to only watch a slide show and the back of the presenter's head for the entire duration of his/her presentation!