From a teacher's point of view, what is beneficial about using PowerPoint?
When I taught at the college level, I learned quickly that even college students have to be entertained to keep them into a lesson for 1 1/2 hours of class time. Thankfully, I soon learned how to make my own PowerPoints for every lesson that I taught whether it was speech or composition classes.
Some students are visual learners. They really do have difficulty keeping up with the lesson by just listening alone. With the combination of teacher talk and the aide of the visual PowerPoint, student interest increases tremendously.
I agree that the PowerPoint cannot be the lesson. It is an presentational aide only. If for example, the lesson deals with teaching how to an outline to use when giving a speech, the PowerPoint picture enhances just teacher explanation and also cuts down on having to write on the board. Handouts are good, but the picture that goes along with the teacher's word is even better.
One big advantage is that it keeps the lecture organized by having the slides go right along with the lecture. A teacher can still be spontaneous and digress by simply stopping the presentation. Even better, the teacher knows exactly where he stopped.
Like so many instructional practices, PowerPoint is not inherently good or bad. It’s all about how we use it and that’s not something about which we can afford to be complacent.
The teacher wlll always be the key factor in the classroom learning situation. However, all the bells and whistles that are at a good instructors disposal can only make the learning experience more motivational and, in the long run, assist the student in learning.
I think that one of the most important reasons why teachers' use of powerpoint is effective is that it really helps to provide a modification for students with special needs. The traditional lecture format with traditional notetaking measures requires students to listen and write simultaneously. This can prove to be challenging for students with special needs, or even students that process information differently from other students. Powerpoint enables students to have hard copies of the notes, allowing them to make sure they can listen without losing vital information that is being discussed in the lecture. Additionally, teachers can upload the slides to the web, ensuring that students can access the information whenever they like. I think that this is a modification that teachers can provide to all students, enabling a greater ability to reduce stress in the learning process. The use of Powerpoint enables a more focused and "chunked" approach to lecturing. In breaking down concepts in slides, there is less of a chance that lectures meander in tangential or non- essential thought. Powerpoint, thus, helps teachers and students in ensuring that information is properly delivered and processed effectively.