Death by PowerPoint

I’m often asked how, as someone with thirty-five years of teaching experience, I arrived at a point in my life where I am encouraging schools and colleges to buy e-authoring software. The reason lies in observing hundreds of lessons as a learner. It’s not an experience many teachers get so they don’t consider this perspective.

In so many of those lessons, the core tool was PowerPoint. In one lesson the teacher placed their first slide on the whiteboard and the student sat next to me groaned quietly. I asked what was wrong; they shrugged and said, ‘More death by PowerPoint’ and turned to stare blankly out of the window.

When I first encountered e-authoring software it was from the big international software houses and it used PowerPoint and, internally, I groaned as well. So when I came across nimble® I felt the need to get evangelical! Here, at last, was software that was different; fun to look at, considerably more interactive but just as easy to use as the ubiquitous PowerPoint.

When I introduced a large-scale tutorial programme into a FE college that used nimble®, I was excited by the reaction from students most of all. The most commonly cited reason? It wasn’t PowerPoint!

I believe we shouldn’t underestimate the students’ learning experience, yet we often do because of financial or time constraints. With a little investment we can transform those experiences and engage students in an approach to learning which they will enjoy – and stop them from staring out of the window!

Phil Parker, education consultant at eLearning247