On pointe: learning to ‘dance’ with PowerPoint

In the LTHE (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education) course today we finished presenting our critical reflections of a planned teaching activity. Our course convener mentioned that many of us read from our slides and perhaps would have been more creative if not for our approach to using PowerPoint. The dreaded bullet lists – you’ve done it, seen it, been there…

For many of us, presenting with PowerPoint keeps us on the tips of our toes. HODs want lecturers to submit these artifacts as part of their lecture material, students want it as notes, lecturers like it because it helps us to structure our lessons. But how can we do things differently with PowerPoint?

We can start by using visuals instead of words or only include key ideas.  I found some websites with good tips that can help us get started with learning to ‘dance’ with PowerPoint:

Steve Jobs & Guy Kawasaki — Powerpoint Best Practices

Top 10 Evidence-Based, Best Practices for PowerPoint

Garr Reynolds – Top 10 Slide Tips

The best of SXSW 2014

Please forgive the dance metaphor. As an amateur belly dancer I could not resist:)

Interestingly, science writer John Bohannon also makes a connection between dance and PowerPoint, using dance INSTEAD of PowerPoint. Watch his TEDx talk here.

I attended a workshop on teaching with visuals a while ago and feel that my presentations have improved, but I am not ‘dancing’ yet. I guess I’m still working on a choreography without bullets.

Embedding presentations in a blog post

This is my ‘dummy’ blog which I use to scaffold, explain and demonstrate using the WordPress blogging platform for creating ePortfolios.

Let’s look at sharing PowerPoint presentations.

I could say:

‘Download my presentation Children as ‘produsers’ from the 2013 Google Summit here.’

Alternatively, I can embed a SlideShare presentation and users can browse it on my blog or log in to SlideShare to download the presentation. Not only does this make my blog more visually interesting, but SlideShare also has analytics so I can see how many downloads, shares, likes, etc this particular upload had.