Thursday, July 30, 2009


This article in the Chronicle of Higher Education purports that "There's no Power in Power Point" and advises teachers to "Teach Naked" (without technology). Then there's this:
It's worth pointing out that PowerPoint presentations are generally better than many older classroom technologies, like slate chalkboards or overhead transparencies filled with hand-scrawled notes that students struggled to decipher. So computers have probably led to a slight improvement in teaching.
So, as usual, it's not really so much the technology as much as it is how you use it. Technically, I use "smart boards" and "Power Point" but I almost never use pre-made slides anymore. I use the laser pen and palatte to draw and write the main points while I mention them. Over the last couple of semesters, students who complained about "boring power point" lectures were usually ones who had other issues with the difficulty of statistics generally or their grade specifically.

Also, I've been reading some studies on so-called "active learning." Much of it finds that active learning does not improve mastery of concepts. However, it does improve student perceptions (and teaching evaluations), and thus I have been investigating various gimmicks to introduce more "active learning" in my classes.

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