This week I made an agreement with my first year A-level History class: I would not subject them to another PowerPoint based lesson for two weeks. This promise was made after having struggled through two sessions of Henry VIII’s foreign policy. Over Easter I constructed a mammoth 60 slide beast, and was excited about covering it with the group. However, ploughing through slide after slide in the heat was enough to eat away at any remaining enthusiasm and goodwill. Which was the principle reason for the agreement.
Yes, PowerPoint is a fantastic teaching tool. It allows us the chance to put on all relevant information (as well as provide weblinks and other clips), and can be utilised by students when revising for their final exams. However, in terms of teaching a subject, slide after slide can bring about the often quoted phrase: “Death by PowerPoint.”
So, the task is this: let’s bin PowerPoint and do something else. Let’s leave the classroom. Let’s try a different way of covering information, and remove the dependence on the use of ICT. Failure to do this will bring a penalty: those in the class have provided a list of demands (ranging from pizza to other dubious treats). Therefore, it is in my best interests to pull something out here, and to attempt to enjoy our material rather than slug through it.