Posts Tagged ‘Seth Godin’
[image source, used under CC licence]
The original “PowerPoint kills” context was its use in the US military. PowerPoint was described as a tool that “stifles discussion, critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making” and “can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control”. Some more choice quotes:
it ties up junior officers — referred to as PowerPoint Rangers — in the daily preparation of slides, be it for a Joint Staff meeting in Washington or for a platoon leader’s pre-mission combat briefing in a remote pocket of Afghanistan… Last year when a military Web site, Company Command, asked an Army platoon leader in Iraq, Lt. Sam Nuxoll, how he spent most of his time, he responded, “Making PowerPoint slides.” When pressed, he said he was serious.
But PowerPoint was not without its charms.
Senior officers say the program does come in handy when the goal is not imparting information, as in briefings for reporters. The news media sessions often last 25 minutes, with 5 minutes left at the end for questions from anyone still awake. Those types of PowerPoint presentations, Dr. Hammes said, are known as “hypnotizing chickens.”
PowerPoint tends to be used in a frontal, delivery-oriented way. Worse still, it is linear and bulleted by design. But teaching and learning are not always sequential. We should not to let the medium restrict a message. In the context of education, I’d add that the medium should not restrict multi-way communication and learning.
I am not saying that PowerPoint presentations cannot be effective. Many of the ones at Slideshare are testament to how good they can be (see the one above for practical tips and the one below as an example of visual design). The best ones often speak for themselves and the reason they do that is because their creators don’t restrict themselves to what PowerPoint does. It’s another example of how social and pedagogical affordances trump technical ones.
The phrase above has been attributed to Gina Trapani in the context of social productivity.
It’s arguably also the context for Seth Godin’s free e-book, What Matters Now.
The short book is essentially a mash-up of the thoughts of over 70 thinkers of our time. You can also read the book in the Slideshare embedded above.
Different people blog for different reasons.
I started blogging in March 2004, a few months before the birth of my son, as a record of what it was like to grow up. That’s right, I blogged as my son and I still do. I also maintain other blogs as the real me and each blog represents a different aspect of who I am. This blog is me as a teacher educator.
So why do others blog? Why should they be blogging? Seth Godin and Tom Peters offered their perspectives on the second question.
From the short video I picked out some values of edublogging:
- practising metacognition (thinking deeply about what you say)
- developing disciplined personal expression
- being part of an ongoing conversation (whether you or others are even aware that one exists)
- changing the way you look at things
I couldn’t agree more.
Why do I blog? I blog because I am. I blog because of who I am becoming and who I want to be. I blog because it reminds me that I am always learning.