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Subject:   RE: Power Point
Author: Mathman
Date: Oct 6 2006
On Oct  2 2006, iris08 wrote:
> While Powerpoint presentations may sometimes be a good approach (as
> well as prepare students for teaching techniques used in university
> lectures), I have seen them used ineffectively more times than not.

This and the other replies so far are well-worded, and make an excellent
point.  The fact is that this is a tool, and is effective only in the manner in
which it might be used.  There is nothing wrong with such a tool, as there is
nothing wrong with a piece of chalk.  It is the manner of use, the need for
dialogue while using that is important.  The question that remains, one that
should always be asked is, "Does this do a *better* presentation of the same
concepts taught otherwise?", or "Does this explain and facilitate something that
can not be done otherwise."    If it in fact does, then fine.

One factor that should be considered is, of course, what makes the job of
teaching less of a burden.  Multiple choice questions are OK in some instances,
but not in all ...not in most in my own opinion, but still useful at times.  So,
this tool is there to be used, the discretion of the teacher. That free
ability to choose is what makes teaching an art, not just a production-line
job.  A computer will generate a wonderfully accurate graph, but it is not the
appearance that teaches the properties of graphs and functions and the topic
then under discussion.  Sometimes slow and steady development of fundamentals
leads to much greater speed and facility in later years due to the fact that
these fundametals are deeply embedded, and then quite natural.  First teach them
to [really] read, then they can read anything.

A problem is that not all teachers are computer whizzes, and do not all have the
time or inclination.  Nor should that be expected.  If they have mastery, it
should be in their own chosen subject area and at that level.


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