Using PowerPoint in the Classroom

Instructor: Andrew Diamond

Andrew has worked as an instructional designer and adjunct instructor. He has a doctorate in higher education and a master's degree in educational psychology.

In this lesson, we'll cover some basic tips for how to successfully use Microsoft PowerPoint in your classroom. Instructions on how to design quality slides, presentation keys, and a few neat tricks are included herein. A short quiz follows.

PowerPoint in the Classroom

Go into the average college classroom today and you will find a group of students, sitting at their desks, eyes glazed over as their teacher stands in front of a projected screen. The teacher, frequently with a laser pointer, will be directing students to look at images, text, or videos projected on that screen. They will drone on, often with their back to the class, reading long blocks of text. Some students will fall asleep, while others will simply zone out. At the end of the class the bell will ring, students will spring into action, eager to leave, having learned nothing.

This horror story - one I have witnessed personally from both sides of the projector - is the result of teachers incorrectly using Microsoft PowerPoint, a computer program which functions as a digital slideshow. Launched in 1990, PowerPoint has become the de facto presentation software for virtually the entire world. The business world and the military have particularly taken a real shining to the software, with jokes frequently made at the expense of their overreliance on PowerPoint presentations.

In the graphic below you'll see the default PowerPoint interface. Users have many options for how to organize slides, from including bullet point lists to adding images, videos, and audio. There are also dozens of themes for the slides, transitions between slides, and animations which can be added. Given all these options, how can we use this incredible tool effectively in the classroom?

Default PowerPoint interface
Basic PowerPoint Interface

PowerPoint Tips

Here are some basic tips you can use to effectively incorporate PowerPoint into your classroom presentations:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account