Wednesday, August 5, 2009

PowerPoints and Learning Styles

"Learners are intrinsically different and have different preferred learning styles" (Kolb, 1984). PowerPoint (PPT) is an excellent tool for teaching and learning, adding a new dimension for teachers to provide information and provoke interest in learning. PPT's, when used correctly, allow for a smooth transition of abstract concepts whilst accommodating all learning styles (Teach-nology, 2007).

Not unlike the students, teachers quite often fall into the trap of using preferred teaching methods based on their own learning style, eg. If a Teacher is an auditory learner they possibly apply this strategy to teaching students. Unfortunately this is not beneficial to the students who best learn from alternate learning styles.

PPT's not only cater to all students learning styles, this technology provides unlimited possibilities and caters also to varied Learning Manager's learning and teaching styles. Learning Managers are able to use visual, auditory and written applications to promote the concepts of lessons and topics. When used effectively, PPT's are a powerful tool for providing an informative and engaging lesson provided they are used in conjunction with well constructed teaching pedagogy, however PPT's should not be used as an alternative to good pedagogy. Applications for PPT's in the classroom include visual aides, introduction of concepts, producing talking books, instructional activities, and providing direction and guidance for the Learning Manager.

Using the following link I accessed the tutorial, 'PowerPoint in the Classroom'. As the tutorial progressed, I was surprised by the capabilities of this technology. Being a kinesthetic learner, I implemented my new PPT knowledge in conjunction with the tutorial to test out some of the applications.

Some of the new applications I discovered included:

1. Slide sorter view - viewing multiple slides at once. Here you can arrange, and add transitions.
2. Custom animations - using fly ins, motion paths, emphasis and exits.
3. Text effects - typewriter effects and more.

Previously I stated that PPT's need to be used effectively to optimize their effect on learning. PPT's which are used inappropriately could potentially confuse students and make learning a difficult process (Teach-nology, 2007). The following video 'Life after death by PowerPoint', shows some basic 'what not to do', when constructing PPT's.

Death by Powerpoint

See you next time.


Teach-nology (2007). PowerPoint In the Classroom. Retrieved August 5, 2009, from

Kolb,D. (1984). Introduction to learning styles. Retrieved July 17, 2009, from

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