Reflections on powerpoint presentations15 Oct 2009
Studies have shown that theachers in the US did not increase their efficiency with the help of of computers: in the double-blind experiments (I ask myself how they did that) the effects were negliegible or evene negative. The bottom line seems to be that a teacher can achieve the same efficiency without any technology.
The university in Waterloo I have see many CS professors that followed this idea and presented using only a white board. Depending on how prepared they were, this approach was successfull. On the other hand most of them had no special presentation training in their career and might not have learned the essential skills for good powerpoint presentations. I’ve only once taught a series of tutorial sessions on a black board and found it extremely hard to keep my line of thought while at the same time writing or drawing something on the board. Additionally I find it very tedious to draw any kind of diagram on a board (think how funny it is, when the lecturer needs 2 minutes to draw a circle). At the same time you have up to 40 eyes staring holes in your back and waiting impatiently for you to finish.
So for me it’s not really an option to learn all the skills necessary to give very good computer-less presentation and I find that I can spend my time much more efficiently honing my powerpoint skills.