Using PowerPoints in Lessons


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Just a thought I have been sitting on for a while. In institute, Sunday's school, elders quorum and many other teaching and learning situations, using a PowerPoint to direct discussion has always been super popular (at least where I'm from). 

However, I have never enjoyed this. The majority of times when I sit in on these lessons, the goal typically tends to be to reach the end of the PowerPoint rather than teach to needs of the students. It often forces the class to go into 'lecture' mode and there are few question opportunities outside of pre-planned questions from the teacher.

In the manual 'Teaching in the Savior's Way' it says "it is not necessary to cover everything in one class period in order to touch someone’s heart--often one or two key points are enough." It also says similar things in 'Preach my Gospel' and many other church produced resources. I feel like we shooting ourselves in the foot when we are teaching and choose to use PowerPoints.

What are the benefits to PowerPoints? Is there a way around the common flaws if using PowerPoints?

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A Powerpoint is just another tool.  It is no different than printed pieces of paper stuck by magnets on the board.  There's a right way to using Powerpoint and there's a wrong way.

When I was in grad school, most of my teachers had a rubric for presentations called Death by Powerpoint.  Basically, it gives plus points for effective use of visual aids and gives minus points for powerpointing a presentation to death.

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Echoing @anatess2 PowerPoint is just another tool to show pictures.  It's great for that, bad when people over populate with bullet points.  In a Sunday School lesson (which is supposed to be more discussion based) a teacher should be 100% ok with going off the "schedule": talking about things out of order, not talking about some planned things, and talking about unplanned things.  This is different than a school lecture where you are typically teaching new material that is usually best presented in a certain logical order.

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Guest LiterateParakeet

I dont see PowerPoints where I am, but I do see the rest of what you mentioned. This makes me wonder if the problem is not the powerpoint at all, but inexperienced teachers and speakers. (Quite regularly in my area, the wives speak first in Sacrament meeting and because they are nervous or inexperienced or stubborn LOL, they give the entire talk as written taking the majority of the meeting and leaving their husband with 2 1/2 minutes.) 

 

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8 hours ago, Fether said:

What are the benefits to PowerPoints? Is there a way around the common flaws if using PowerPoints?

From where I'm standing, a set of PowerPoint slides is just a way of presenting information visually for a lesson.  Just like a teacher writing on a whiteboard and showing the pictures they brought, except easier.  If someone isn't that great of a teacher, it doesn't really matter whether they're writing on a board or showing slides, the lesson won't be that great.  

When an apostle came to teach us last month, he showed PP slides.  Stake meetings and ward conference tend to have them.  I've used them occasionally the couple of times they asked me to present something to combined Relief Society/Priesthood meetings.  "Spreading the Gospel through Social Media".  I could have printed out a bunch of posters and hung them, but I got to project this image much larger, without using any ink or paper:

dlme.png

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1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

From where I'm standing, a set of PowerPoint slides is just a way of presenting information visually for a lesson.  Just like a teacher writing on a whiteboard and showing the pictures they brought, except easier.  If someone isn't that great of a teacher, it doesn't really matter whether they're writing on a board or showing slides, the lesson won't be that great.  

When an apostle came to teach us last month, he showed PP slides.  Stake meetings and ward conference tend to have them.  I've used them occasionally the couple of times they asked me to present something to combined Relief Society/Priesthood meetings.  "Spreading the Gospel through Social Media".  I could have printed out a bunch of posters and hung them, but I got to project this image much larger, without using any ink or paper:

dlme.png

I'm pretty sure that's not how you PowerPoint.

  • From where I'm standing, a set of PowerPoint slides is just a way of presenting information visually for a lesson.  

  • Just like a teacher writing on a whiteboard and showing the pictures they brought, except easier.  

    • If someone isn't that great of a teacher, it doesn't really matter whether they're writing on a board or showing slides, the lesson won't be that great.  

Slide 2 - Uses of PowerPoint

  • When an apostle came to teach us last month, he showed PP slides.

  • Stake meetings and ward conference tend to have them.

  • I've used them occasionally the couple of times they asked me to present something to combined Relief Society/Priesthood meetings.

Slide 3 - "Spreading the Gospel through Social Media".

  •  I could have printed out a bunch of posters and hung them,
  • I got to project this image much larger, without using any ink or paper:
  • <img>

<End of Slides>

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27 minutes ago, mordorbund said:
  • From where I'm standing, a set of PowerPoint slides is just a way of presenting information visually for a lesson.  

  • Just like a teacher writing on a whiteboard and showing the pictures they brought, except easier.  

    • If someone isn't that great of a teacher, it doesn't really matter whether they're writing on a board or showing slides, the lesson won't be that great.  

Slide 2 - Uses of PowerPoint

  • When an apostle came to teach us last month, he showed PP slides.

  • Stake meetings and ward conference tend to have them.

  • I've used them occasionally the couple of times they asked me to present something to combined Relief Society/Priesthood meetings.

Slide 3 - "Spreading the Gospel through Social Media".

  •  I could have printed out a bunch of posters and hung them,
  • I got to project this image much larger, without using any ink or paper:
  • <img>

<End of Slides>

Ouch - how painful and boring!  I prefer stuff like this:

dlme.png

 

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14 hours ago, anatess2 said:

A Powerpoint is just another tool.  It is no different than printed pieces of paper stuck by magnets on the board.  There's a right way to using Powerpoint and there's a wrong way.

 

I think you are very right. Thinking back, I can think of a few situations where a stake president presented a training of some sort using a powerpoint and it was fantastic. I can think of another situation where one was using a white board and it was very lecture like. 

I guess a lot of the time we become slaves to the tools rather than masters of them.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/11/2017 at 3:30 AM, Fether said:

Just a thought I have been sitting on for a while. In institute, Sunday's school, elders quorum and many other teaching and learning situations, using a PowerPoint to direct discussion has always been super popular (at least where I'm from). 

However, I have never enjoyed this. The majority of times when I sit in on these lessons, the goal typically tends to be to reach the end of the PowerPoint rather than teach to needs of the students. It often forces the class to go into 'lecture' mode and there are few question opportunities outside of pre-planned questions from the teacher.

In the manual 'Teaching in the Savior's Way' it says "it is not necessary to cover everything in one class period in order to touch someone’s heart--often one or two key points are enough." It also says similar things in 'Preach my Gospel' and many other church produced resources. I feel like we shooting ourselves in the foot when we are teaching and choose to use PowerPoints.

What are the benefits to PowerPoints? Is there a way around the common flaws if using PowerPoints?

I'm with you. I have never been keen on Power Point presentations in church meetings even though I appreciate them in a business setting. I feel the same way about videos. I so much more appreciate when teachers can draw the class participants into discussions notwithstanding the inherent challenges. 

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