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One more PowerPoint-hater is news?

May 20, 2014

PowerPointless

The above image comes from yet another diatribe on the abuse of slideshows as a teaching tool. I like Slate.com, but this piece by Rebecca Schuman makes broad generalizations (apparently based on random observation) and never says how the tools themselves are to blame. How many students are forced to read poorly-written books (think textbooks, for starters)? How many instructors use well-written books badly? Yet there is no hue and cry about books being the scourge of higher education.

Schuman does acknowledge that slideshow users are a big part of the problem. Spending too much time on an explanation, filling the screen with words, using slideshows for the entirety of every class — none of those practices is inherent to this kind of tool. Each is a choice made by a presenter. In the end, Schuman’s poorly-designed visuals add up to an almost comical rant that contributes little to the “debate” over use of slideshows in the college classroom … not that I have an opinion on this …

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