Demo Day PBP (1)

The Downfalls of Powerpoint

While scrolling through social media, I noticed a shared link from a colleague: Powerpoint Makes Professors Boring and Students Stupid. While the wording is quite provocative, the general premise has merit. Whether primary, secondary, or post-secondary, students are not learning from Powerpoint. Additionally, Powerpoint slides do not engage students. Powerpoint is engrained in education (even if in the form of SMART notes or Prometheus slides) similar to chalk and erasers – this is just how we do things. But how do we change this constant?

The downfalls of Powerpoint are not only with the delivery of instruction. The article references that students rely on slides more than reading the assigned texts, articles and any other additional research necessary. Students print out the slides and attend class just to follow along. At the secondary level, they simply look for the key words, filling in the guided notes. Better yet, students copy the notes word for word. Additionally, the Business Insider article explains that slides “discourage complex thinking” with short-hand versions of the concepts. Finally, students are not afraid to explain their boredom with powerpoint slides.

While there are other presentation mechanisms available, educators must hone in on the real issue: instruction. Rather than spitting out the lesson word-for-word, challenge students to solve problems. Research indicates that Inquiry Based Learning pushes students to not only learn the material, but also how to solve problems, work in teams, collaborate, and more.  Additional forms of successful instruction are project-based learning, collaborative learning, and problem-based learning.

Of course, Powerpoint will not disappear. It is a tool. Students must demonstrate their mastery in using powerpoint and how to present information. However, they also need to learn how to captivate an audience. How? By watching and learning from a captivating teacher! Use Powerpoint as a captivating tool, not the only tool to provide instruction.

Planbook Plus offers a great platform for planning captivating lessons! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Systems of Linear Equations

The student council is not making enough money for prom! Assign groups of students to create a plan for raising enough money. Provide the amount required for prom. Allow students to use events such as the plays, sporting events and fundraisers. Students are tasked with creating a system of equations that indicates what fundraisers are required and at what cost in order to achieve the goal.

2. Narrative Writing

The school is adopting a student honor code. Assign to your class the task of identifying the needs of an honor code, determining how to address those needs and then writing an honor code manual. Break the assignment into parts so that separate teams must perform separate tasks. Then, the other teams must “mark up” the draft codes and submit a final product. Even suggest that the final product go to the principal of the school!

3. Propaganda

Whether in history class or english class, review the use of propaganda in history. Each student is then assigned with the task of identfying a school problem. Individually, each student will identify the problem and create a plan of action to address the problem in the school. Once the plan of action is approved by the teacher, they must create a form of propaganda for use in the school.

*Planbook Plus allows us to customize our plans so that all student needs are met! Try it out for yourself and let us know what works best for you!*