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PowerPoint and Video Presentations in Education

Presentation applications are increasing in popularity and providing powerful tools for creation of instructional materials and accessible information in audio-visual formats. When used appropriately, these tools can support and extend traditional presentations in valuable ways. In classroom settings, MS PowerPoint, for example, has become the dominant presentation tool because it is both readily available and easy-to-use by instructors (Grabe & Grabe 2007). 
It allows instructors to create and manipulate presentations in a wide variety of contexts that can enhance student’s interest and engagement (Mills & Roblyer 2006). In addition, it helps instructors clearly identify the main points of a topic or activity while still providing the details through presentation (Loisel & Galer, 2004). Instructors can incorporate multiple types of media formats (e.g., diagram, photo, drawing, sound and video) that cannot be easily integrated together into one single medium. Learners are also attracted to PowerPoint because of graphical, transactional, aesthetic and interactive features it provides.
However, in order to be successful, a presenter needs to guide the audience through the presentation, keep their interest, and attract their attention (Chiasson & Gutwin, 2005). Although there is interest in the utility of PowerPoint, it is used only by the teacher inside classrooms and needs to be paired with use of an LCD projector and large screen. In other words, PowerPoint slide content and visual features are not substitute for guidance a teacher should deliver. If the students are not seeing and listening to the teacher, then learning from the slides in isolation will be less valuable or impossible. 
Parette, Blum, Boeckmann & Watts (2009) suggested that regardless of such concerns and problems related to the use of PowerPoint, it is no longer an issue of whether to use PowerPoint or not. Instead, presenters must focus on how they can best use it inside and outside classrooms to support learners (Parette et al., 2009).
The review of the literature and modern online applications and social networks emphasized the importance of considering the potential possibilities that a video presents when deciding how to support the learners (Cunningham & Friedman, 2009). Proponents of videos argue that there is increasing interest in providing learners with recorded materials and video is demonstrated to be an expanding channel for presentation (Sturmey, 2003). 
Providing video on demand to students is used to support facet-to-face, online, or blended learning. Students can choose when and where to use the material and can spend as long or as little time on each learning activity (Whatley & Ahmad, 2007). 
Watching video is considered as a basis for mental activity. It is socially acceptable and widely used and supported by multimedia cell phones and portable media players. According to Schwartz & Hartman (2007), video is a more forgiving and powerful presentation medium, and does not have to be stand-alone, like a television program. 
Learners can play, rewind, forward, and pause the video to address their specific needs. It can be used in many ways to encourage interactions between students and the teachers and create engagement. Watching video is considered as a basis for mental activity. It is socially acceptable and widely used and supported by multimedia cell phones and portable media players. Research suggests that learning with technology requires visual stimulus in order to promote cognitive processing (Mayer, 2001). 
Martin (1990) found that watching video is considered as a basis for mental activity, because learners already have considerable practice with it in non-educational settings. In addition, it is socially acceptable and widely used and supported by multimedia mobile devices and portable media players, and therefore it can be a powerful link between the instructor and students.
Research (Zue & Bergom, 2010; Dey, Burn, & Gerdes, 2009; Fernandez, Simon, & Salan, 2009) described many advantages of using video lectures and presentations in universities. For example, video lectures allow students to review material at their own pace and location, useful for international students, provides an opportunity to re-organize teaching time, and useful for “equation heavy” disciplines.