Power Point presentations can be an effective teaching tool. Teachers can display notes, pictures, sounds, and videos in a readable and easy to manipulate format.
But, like any technology, if it isn’t used properly it can become a liability. Teachers can become so blinded by all that they can put into their presentation that they forget to make their lesson interactive as well. Power Point presentations become lectures with students passively watching the slide show. Students and teachers can become so focused on the technology that they forget to interact with each other.
If you don’t know how to put a basic Power Point presentation together there are many tutorials on the Internet. Once you have put together a slide show with the basic information that you want to teach students, there are easy ways to turn it into a highly interactive lesson.
Introducing a Lesson Using Drawing Tools
An easy way to introduce your Power Point presentation is with a picture. Put a fun twist onto this by asking students to guess what they’ll be learning about as you slowly reveal a hidden picture in your Power Point slide. Here’s how you do it:
- Set up the drawing toolbar by going to the view menu at the top of the screen, then select the toolbars, then select the drawing toolbar
- The drawing toolbar should appear on the bottom of your screen. Set up several shapes on your screen, squares and rectangles work well. If you want your shapes to be exactly the same size select one of the shapes you created then hit control D to duplicate it.
- Use your shapes to cover up your picture. You can even place shapes on top of each other.
- Once your picture is covered right click one of the shapes and select custom animation.
- The custom animation screen should show up on the right side of your screen. Click the add effect drop down menu.
- Go down to exit and select how you want your object to exit the screen, for example, diamond
- Go to the next shape and do the same thing. Continue this until each of your shapes is set up with exit animation.
- Now if you watch your show, each of your shapes should disappear with the click of a button slowly revealing a picture
For a sample of what this technique will look like see the pictures Drawing Image #1 and #2 and two below.
Filling in the Blanks
Another way to use this technique is to give students a short fill in the blank quiz or worksheets at the end of the presentation. You follow the same steps using the drawing tools, but use your shapes to cover up specific words rather then a large picture. A sample of this is seen in the Filling in the Blanks picture below.
Using the Pen
Teachers and technology experts Susan Brooks and Bill Byles started a free Internet resource for teachers called Internet4Classrooms. In it, they detail how to use the Pen and textbox functions with Power Point.
The pen function allows students to circle right answers or most important information on a slide. They can even use this function to circle things on a picture. Here’s how you do it:
- You can only use this function when you are viewing the actual slide show.
- In view mode hit control p. This gets you the pen. Use the mouse to draw.
- When you exit out of the view mode you can opt to save the drawings.
Another way for students to interact with your Power Point presentation is by setting up textboxes for them to type information into. Here’s how to do it:
- Set up the control toolbox by going to the view menu at the top of the screen, then select toolbars, then select the control toolbox.
- Click on textbox button (has a little ab in it and if you hold the cursor over it without clicking it, it says textbox)
- The mouse turns into a drawing tool. If you click and drag it onto your slide it will create a box. Set up the boxes where you want them-remember students will be typing answers into these boxes.
- Each time you want a new box you’ll have to go back and click on the textbox button again. Or, select the textbox than select the box you’ve just created and hit control D, this will duplicate your box as many times as you want it and it will ensure that your boxes are the same size.
- Students will only be able type in the box when you are viewing the slide show.
Power Point presentations have incredible potential for learning opportunities. Hopefully these techniques will help make your next Power Point presentation a meaningful and engaging learning experience for you students.