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Digital Media for the Classroom: PowerPoint

A guide to digital media tools for the classroom

PowerPoint in the Classroom

Microsoft PowerPoint is a slideshow presentation software that was developed by Microsoft Office in 1990. Traditionally teachers and librarians have used PowerPoint as electronic slide-overheads; however, PowerPoint contains features that could transform your PowerPoint presentation into something more dynamic and engaging for your students. 

The following is a list of helpful tips on using PowerPoint in a 21st century learning environment:

  1. Use simple template themes or solid colour backgrounds
  2. State takeaway point on each slide! Use very few words and large fonts
  3. Use cool colours (i.e. green, blue, etc.) for the background and warm colours (i.e. red, organge, etc.) for text
  4. Titles and headings should be kept short
  5. If you are using text or bullet points, apply the "less is best" rule
  6. Integrate slides into each activity or exercise as much as possible
  7. Add bold, colourful, 2D (never 3D) images to your presentation. Images should match the content
  8. Slide transitions and animations should be used to illustrate main points and flow of the conversation
  9. Synchronize music with transitions and animations to help facilitate emotional connections. Music should be familiar to your audience
  10. Embed videos and polls into your presentation

Source: Berk, R.A. (2012). Top 10 evidence-based, best practices for PowerPoint in the classroom. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning Journal, 5(3).

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