Despite the fact that its so easy to misuse, I still lecture with PowerPoint in my survey classes. I’ve defended that practice elsewhere, so I don’t feel like I need to do it now. I will say this again though: The illustrative power of pictures in a history class is so great that to me not using PowerPoint is a form of educational malpractice.
There is also great value to using PowerPoint for primary source quotes. In my pre-Power Point days, I remember reading out relatively long primary source quotes from my notes as if I was the narrator from a Ken Burns documentary. Now this strikes me as rather inefficient since I can now talk about the quote rather than read what students can read for themselves.
But thanks to a couple of conversations I’ve had lately, I’m beginning to wonder if that much multi-tasking is too much to ask from students. So professorial readers, the questions of the day are:
Do you ever read text (particularly quotations) from a PowerPoint lecture? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes, I know this whole line of questioning is somewhat trivial, but I still think there’s some interesting teaching philosophy issues under-girding this seemingly insignificant argument.