The use of PowerPoints as an effective presentation tool is widely known, even to 'digital immigrants' like myself. With this said I have to admit that my knowledge of the various tools and functions within this program was quite limited. I found the online tutorial extremely helpful in this respect and have a better understanding after playing around with my own PowerPoint presentation. I have included a link to this site PowerPoint in the Classroom for future reference.
There is so much to learn in order to effectively utilise all of the fantastic tools available within this program and ensure that it is used to its full potential. For my own presentation I have decided to keep with the theme of the current unit within my grade 1 class 'Creatures on the Move'. The PowerPoint (which is a work in progress) aims to inform the students about Koalas and includes basic information on their features and habitat. I challenged myself by adding motion to some of the text and animations, as well as sound. I feel that these additions have made my presentation much more engaging for students and cater to a wider variety of learning styles.
Within the classroom there is great diversity between the way learners process and retain information due to their different characteristic strengths and weaknesses. These are known as learning styles and they relate to the way 'learners perceive, interact with and respond to their learning environment' (Felder & Brent, 2005). Some students learn better through seeing (visual), some by hearing (auditory) and some by doing (kinesthetic). A well thought out and developed PowerPoint presentation has the ability to engage students on all levels.
Students differ from one another in a wide variety of ways, including the types of instruction to which they respond best. As a future Learning Manager I believe that it is important to understand our learners in order to employ a range of teaching strategies and modes that benefit all of our students. PowerPoint presentations, when used appropriately, are an effective way to achieve this. For me this means Practice, Practice, Practice!
ACT360 Media Ltd. (2009). PowerPoint in the classroom. Retrieved August 6, 2009, from http://www.actden.com/pp/index.htm
Felder, R., & Brent, R. (2005). Understanding student differences. Retrieved August 6, 2009, from http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/Understanding_Differences.pdf