UP504 • The Uses and Abuses of Powerpoint

Date: Feb 21

last updated: Friday, February 16, 2007 12:31 PM

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Powerpoint has emerged, with remarkably little fanfare or conscious choice, as a dominant medium for student presentations, class lectures and professional presentations. It is a powerful tool, but not without flaws, biases and major limitations. In this module we examine the good, the bad and the ugly in Powerpoint.

We will contrast various ways of using powerpoint, from creating a presentation "raw" using blank pages to the quick & dirty "AutoContent" wizard. We discuss ways to balance (or overuse) images, text, bullet-points, animation, transitions, etc.



UM Knowledge Navigation Center: Powerpoint Tutorials
Parker, Ian. 2001. Absolute Powerpoint: Can a software package edit our thoughts? The New Yorker, May 28, p. 767. [electronic reserve]
Thompson, Clive. 2003. PowerPoint Makes You Dumb. The New York Times Magazine, December 14, p. 88. [electronic reserve]

see also:
PowerPoint Is Evil (Wired Magazine, Sept. 2003)
Learning to Love PowerPoint (Wired Magazine, Sept. 2003)
more Byrne: Turning Heads with Powerpoint (a Wired Magazine interview) | an NPR interview | a NYTimes article
Norvig, Peter. "PowerPoint: shot with its own bullets."
Rich Gold, "Powerpoint as a toy for thought" [need to find a new link...]
presentations.com | 44 tips and tricks
Overview: Powerpoint as Creative Medium (greg.org)
Tufte, Edward. The Cognitive Style of Power Point. Graphics Press. [available at Library]