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October, 2013:

Transitioning out of PowerPoint

Ever had that feeling as an instructor where teaching a class felt like you’re striving to thread student discussion, yet it still leads to nowhere? Here’s a solution: ditch PowerPoint. Elimination of PowerPoint presentations with the replacement of a web presentation will enhance better conversations in the classroom according to a blog post regarding the Teaching Professor Technology Conference. Instructors will trade their method of teaching from design and present to present and discuss using the web solely as an aid rather than a tool to rely on. Web presentations allow more ‘collaboration and updating’ and  while PowerPoint usually lists data and references, a web presentation has the ability to go directly to the web source, making students more interested in going into further research.

It’s definitely a different trade off especially if instructors have relied on images and charts to present information throughout their teaching career. So is it worth the risk? That’s up to the instructor to find out.

Or maybe you’re tired of PowerPoint in general, but still like the aspect of design in your presentations. Here are a few PowerPoint alternatives:

  • Prezi

  • Google Presentation (via Google Drive)

  • Reveal: This is for those of you who speak HTML, and want to get creative

  • Slides: The same as Reveal, just no coding experience necessary

Students’ Thoughts on Their Technology in the Classroom

In today’s classrooms, technology is a vital tool in making teaching and learning much more interactive, engaging, and empowering. Students use their mobile devices and computers to access the Internet, electronic resources, and other educational software/applications, resulting in an independent, student-driven learning environment.

For instructors and educators who are curious as to their effectiveness in using technology in their classrooms, the Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) recently released their latest version of its annual report, ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013, which describes and illustrates how students feel about the use of technology in their classrooms.

Read more!

Laptop Multitasking Hinders Users and Peers Alike

Laptops have been commonplace in college classrooms for many years now. Students bring their laptops to follow along with a lecture as well as to take notes; during that time it is not unusual for a student to multitask and check email or visit social media sites. What effects, if any, are these seemingly innocuous distractions having on student grades?

In a study conducted by Computers & Education and reported on by the Huffington Post, they take a deeper look into the repercussions laptops can have on student performance.

Read more!