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Using PowerPoint in Teaching

You may download the two files below to see my presentation on using PowerPoint in teaching. Given the limitations of PowerPoint and other presentation software, "teaching" means primarily non-interactive lecturing in this context. I don't generally recommend it for other teaching uses.

The first is the actual presentation (and requires PowerPoint); the second is a handout of the presentation slides in a PDF format. Note that the presentation does not really make a whole lot of sense by itself. This is deliberate; one of my claims is that the presentation should really only supplement actual lecturing/talking. You will also note that the handout does not have all the details from the slides. This is an an incentive for students to attend the lectures: for presentations used for teaching, it's useful for the students to notice that just printing the handout outlines won't be enough (even if they -- mistakenly -- were to think the babbling by the professor is meaningless).

Although I think PowerPoint can be used successfully in teaching and in some other contexts, it is also useful to be aware of its limitations. I therefore strongly suggest checking out Edward Tufte's incisive analysis of "The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint," even if you might not agree with him on everything.

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Last updated on 6-Jan-07.