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How Do I Teach Effectively with PowerPoint?

Here are tips to enhance your teaching when using PowerPoint slides:

1.  Focus on your intent in teaching.
•    How will the slides assist your teaching and the learning of the students?
•    What objectives do you intend the students to achieve?
•    What will the format/outline of the lesson be?

2. Slides complement teaching.
•    The PowerPoint slides do not teach;  you do.  
•    The slides are a complement to and an enhancement of your teaching.

3.  Plan ahead.
•    Plan your teaching ahead of time and use the slides to help organize yourself.  
•    Put the appropriate number of slides in for the amount of time you have.  
•    Use the slides to offer the objectives for the lesson
•    Use the slides to offer the organizational plan or outline of the lesson.  
•    Plan activities (talk, demonstrations, questions, discussions, applications) that are prompted by slides
•    Include diagrams, or other visuals where appropriate
•    Consider the rule of thumb:  1 slide per 1-2 minutes as a guideline, or select the slides intentionally to lead into planned amounts of minutes.  

4.  Use points that are signals or cues.
•    Do not write down on the PowerPoint slides everything that you plan to say.  
•    Leave spaces for students to think, listen to you or others, or to write down ideas and further concepts as notes.

5.  Avoid reading your slides.
•    Invite students into the discussion or the struggle to understand:
Use point form, questions or organizers and a blank slide to promote talk about concepts, rather than reading them
•    Refer to the slides, and then look away and discuss the concepts
•    Face the students and speak to them!

6.  Use slides for effective teaching techniques.
•    Illustrate or reinforce difficult or complex ideas
•    Show specific examples of general concepts
•    Demonstrate the steps of a process
•    Show spatial or visual relationships
•    Pose provocative questions
•    Stimulate and captivate interest.

7.  Pause for understanding.
•    Pause to let students read and respond to a slide and take notes if necessary
•    Give time for students to read all slides.  

8.  Use organizers to let students know where you are in the talk.
•    Come back to the organizers or outline of the lesson periodically as inserts to remind the students where you are in the lesson.

9.  Review objectives at the end of the session.
•    Go back to your original objectives to ensure that you have accomplished what you set out to, and to conclude the class.

10.  Don’t be imprisoned by the computer.  
•    Move around, by using a remote mouse
•    A laser pointer is useful to point to parts of a diagram or key phrases.

11.  Practise using the technology ahead of class.  
•    Become familiar with setting up the projector, the screen, the laptop, the remote mouse, and any data storage devices.

12.  If you provide handouts of slides:  
•    Leave space for students’ notes
•    Offer additional information in your talk
•    Upload slides or provide access to them well ahead of your talk
•    Students can access slides during session, without paper copy
•    Create a black and white pdf for easy printing.

13.   Continue to use effective teaching techniques with slides.
•    The slides are an aid to your teaching  
•    Continue to use discussion, questioning, using effective explanation techniques such as analogy or example, and activities to engage students in conjunction with your PowerPoint slides
•    Don’t read your notes.

14.  Useful PowerPoint Techniques:
•    Stagger revelations of one idea or statement at a time, or a list (use animation scheme)
•    Run a slide show as students arrive
•    Capture screens from other applications
•    Link to a web site
•    Insert a video clip

15. Helpful Commands Techniques
These will help you manipulate your slides to obtain effects you need:
RIGHT ARROW                 Go to next slide or perform next animation
LEFT ARROW                    Go to previous slide or animation
<number> + RETURN       Go to slide <number>
B                                            Display black screen (or return to slide show from black)
W                                           Display white screen (or return to slide show from a white)
S                                            Stop or restart an automatic slide show
ESC                                      End a slide show
E                                            Erase on-screen annotations
H                                            Go to next hidden slide if the next slide is hidden
A                                            Show or hide arrow pointer