It’s a Monday, it’s raining, and you walk into class, not in the best of moods. Your teacher requests everyone pulls out their notebooks and turns their attention to the PowerPoint on the board.
Many of you may not feel anything regarding the situation I just described, but I personally dread the PowerPoint days. Unfortunately these days seem to be the most common at school. Teachers seem to love the PowerPoint as it effectively conveys information and is easy to understand, yet the concept baffles me. Essentially, we are asked to copy the information from the PowerPoint and know it for the future. Although I speak for myself, I assume many others agree with the fact that paying attention to a singular screen and mindlessly copying down the information doesn’t work. I walk away from the class with the same knowledge I had coming in, yet tons more in a notebook I won’t look at ever again. Furthermore, I often miss the information or decide to not take notes as I know I won’t be able to pay attention to the boring PowerPoint for 40 minutes.
The 40-minute, copy-these-notes PowerPoint is an easy cop out for a teacher. Someone had to say it. Many times these presentations are outdated, recycled from years prior and are not presented in a way that is easy to pay attention to. The PowerPoint is such a cop out, in fact, that when I have to present something, I decide to do it with a PowerPoint. Teachers should strive to have students be able to take the information and turn it into something useful, something different, however most of the time we choose to do a PowerPoint because of how easy it actually is to do. That would be like if a teacher gave homework straight from the internet, and I in turn answered it with answers straight from the internet.
If someone did a study on test scores when the material is straight from a PowerPoint and when the information is taught some other way, I would bet that the results would be interesting. Eye-opening in fact. I can not blame teachers for teaching like that. It it a simple and effective way of teaching after all. But I can condemn those who rely on the PowerPoint to the point where most days are spent with one on the Smart Board. Others agree with my sentiments. Senior Mark Surhoff said “They definitely are annoying,” and Brendan Kenelly said “I usually end up not taking notes.”
Imagine, for a second, If all of a sudden PowerPoint disappeared from the face of the earth. How differently would the school day look? Honestly better. And so now, I praise teachers like Mr.Thomas, who pair Power Points with fun activities such as simulations or group projects to aid our learning. Although many other teachers do the same thing, why don’t we try to eliminate the PowerPoint all together? I’m sure we could find a way.