We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint

The New York Times put out We Have Met the Enemy and He is PowerPoint talking about how military commanders are spending inordinate amounts of time making and watching PowerPoint presentations. Anyone who knows me well knows I hate PowerPoints, usually because they're done so poorly. Now and then I've seen a great one, but there's something about the structure of the tool and the way in which we're teaching people to use it that drives me crazy.

I was struck by the fact that Bumiller (article author) missed referencing Edward Tufte's The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within, which is the best $7 you'll ever spend if you use PowerPoint or any other digital presentation tool. Tufte makes it clear how the tool itself can lead you to present data in unhelpful, and in NASA's case, dangerous, ways. I have an old blog post titled, Is PowerPoint a Waste of Time for Teachers that became relevant for me again after reading the Times' article.

Do you use PowerPoint? How do you differ from the military use? Do you use it with your students? How do you get them to learn what a bullet point even means? Too many questions, too little time.

Posted via web from arvind's posterous

arvind s. grover

I am a progressive educator, a podcaster (EdTechTalk.com/21cl), a blogger, and dean of faculty of JK-11 school (building a high school) in New York City.