I recently came across an online article entitled “Let’s ban PowerPoint in lectures-it makes students more stupid and professors more boring.” (https://theconversation.com/lets-ban-powerpoint-in-lectures-it-makes-students-more-stupid-and-professors-more-boring-36183?utm_campaign=meetedgar&utm_medium=social&utm_source=meetedgar.com&fbclid=IwAR3d6KHdlo3Bz7qsJ00aQjoT0iBEHO5oFK2HZpc_j5VltBw8-TGqzGXpFjc)
The author, Bent Meier Sørensen, proposes that we should ban PowerPoint slides from lecture classes on the grounds that they are boring, they limit interaction between teachers and students during class, and they discourage students from thinking for themselves. Furthermore, by forcing teachers to cram complex concepts into sequential lists of bullet points, PowerPoint lectures give students the false sense that knowledge is the result of a predictable, straight-line process, rather than a series of ever-evolving, interconnected ideas.
Instead of filling class time with PowerPoint lectures, Sørensen encourages teachers to treat class as a more open-ended discussion, calling on students frequently and writing key points on a chalkboard. While this approach may seem archaic, some teachers take this approach even further, banning the use of laptops, tablets, and phones in class to prevent students from multitasking and surfing social media during lectures. (https://theconversation.com/facebook-fight-why-we-banned-laptops-ipads-and-smartphones-in-lectures-32116)
Sørensen has some good points, but I believe that, like all things, PowerPoint can be a useful teaching tool when used wisely. It’s an efficient medium for sharing tables, figures, and pictures, and can also help students who are visual learners to absorb and retain material better than a lecture that is primarily spoken. Even in the Copenhagen Business School, where Sørensen teaches and PowerPoint lecture slides are banned in class, teachers will use the program to show relevant images, videos, and quotes.
What do you all think? Should PowerPoint be banned? Or is an effective teaching tool when used in moderation?