To tool, or not to tool

by anketroeder

Instead of banning PowerPoint from your classroom (proud and loud teacher tweet somewhere today, and I simply do not care to link to it): How about learning/teaching how to make the most and best of it?

Even PPT is nothing but a white page and it can be made to breathe and live and dance. Stop blaming the tools. Stop worshipping the tools. And yes, PowToon is fun, and okay-ish, for some purposes, and incredibly loud, when it comes to marketing, and it comes with the same old limitations. Add Prezi. Add HaikuDeck. Add anything. Add everything.

A tool is a tool is a tool. The presentation is you.

Banning tools simply means you do not know how to handle them. Banning tools is so very last century. Banning tools is poor understanding of your options. Banning tools means you have not even remotely begun to understand what really counts: words.

A good presentation is never about tools. It will always be about people. And words. And falling in love.If you can handle words and make us fall in love with you and your ideas, you will have to rely so much less on tools. One of the best student talks from this current presentation exam week used 5 slides for ten minutes: 2 image slides, three slides with a three word statement or question, one pretty good story.

Another cool exam result: a one hour screen cast of live drawings made at home condensed into a three minute video embedded into a LibreOffice file. Plus live talking in the classroom.

Wow, everyone whispered. Wow! I wish I could draw like that. Would have worked in PPT, Keynote, as interactive PDF, as HTML 5, as movie file in any player alive. You name the tool. The tools do not matter. You matter. Your ideas matter. Your voice matters. So talk to us. Stop worrying about the tools. Stop blaming the tools.

There will always be tools. Old tools. New tools. Unheard of tools.

And the louder they scream: CHOOSE ME, ONLY ME!, the less efficient they may turn out to be.

Has a page of plain white paper ever screamed at you like that?

Would you ever consider banning it?