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PowerPoint Presentations in the Classroom


Presentation tools 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 lecture 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). Presentation tools help 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, animation, video, etc.) that cannot be easily integrated together into one single medium. Learners are also attracted to presentation applications because of graphical, transactional, aesthetic and interactive features they provide. Parette, Blum, Boeckmann & Watts (2009) suggested that regardless of such concerns and problems related to the use of presentation tools, like PowerPoint, it is no longer an issue of whether to use them or not. Instead, teachers must focus on how they can successfully use them inside and outside classrooms to support learners (Parette et al., 2009).