Last year I used power point presentations in several lessons with my year six class. It allowed me to present information in an exciting way using various types of graphics, pictures, colours, effects and links to other websites. I found them particularly effective with the grade sixes as it was a good tool to engage them with. One PowerPoint I did in particular worked very well. It was on Tsunami's and I used the PowerPoint to guide the class through the information I had to give them about Tsunami's However because the information was presented in a different more stimulating way the class seemed to stay more engaged. PowerPoints very much facilitate Oliver's Learning Design Construct as you can design them to include all the key learning design elements which are the learning tasks, resources and support. Oliver suggests that the critical elements required in a learning design, particularly when ICT mediated include the resources learners interact with, activities learners are required to perform, and the support mechanisms provided to assist learners to engage with the tasks and resources (AUCT, 2003). For example the PowerPoint I presented to the grades six's included video's of actual Tsunamis, photo's, and interactive website explaining how they happened and other valuable information. I also used it to pose questions which we then discussed as a class. At the end I used the PowerPoint to outline the task that they needed to complete as one of the formative assessment tasks for that particular unit of work.
PowerPoint's would also be useful for students to use for their own presentations. However, the teacher would need to ensure they scaffold the learning experience to ensure that students were given the basic skills needed to effectively use PowerPoint effectively.
AUCT. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved July 21, 2009 from http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm#top