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What are some PowerPoint tips for teachers?

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Quick Answer

Some PowerPoint tips for teachers are to make the visuals more accessible, more visually interesting and less cluttered. Teachers can use PowerPoint to communicate ideas, organize thoughts, inspire students and excite them about new material.

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Accessibility is a crucial goal when teachers design PowerPoint presentations. Some students can't see very well, making complex movements and transitions distracting. Teachers can use large format fonts with high contrast, such as black on white or white on black, to help. Keeping transitions to a minimum helps students access the content of the presentation without distractions.

A visually interesting presentation can inspire the curiosity of students. A single, large-format image that relates directly to the main idea of the slide helps teachers communicate and might even provide an opportunity for humor. Teachers can also use cartoons to convey a core message. The can even organize the presentation visually; by using different font colors in the title of slides for different sections, teachers can signal how content is grouped under various headings.

Finally, visual clutter is a common mistake when using PowerPoint in the classroom. Too many words on a slide means students must give the slide all of their focus instead of listening to the teacher's explanation. A maximum of 12 words per slide is a good rule of thumb. Combined with large formatting and high contrast, a 12-word maximum also helps students focus on main ideas and organization.

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