I am new to the world of education, having taken about 24 years off working at another career. In that career, I have gone to endless seminars, where main points were spoon-fed – usually in black and white only – to my fellow attendees and me, with the aid of PowerPoint. The presenter would either make the PowerPoint slides available at the seminar, or offer to email them to all those who were interested.
What has always struck me about [wikipop search=”Microsoft PowerPoint”]PowerPoint[/wikipop] is how dull it is. However, prior to starting school here, I never had to actually prepare a PowerPoint presentation myself. So far, I have still managed to avoid it – though, in the interest of full disclosure, I have helped others in group projects where we had to present our project using PowerPoint. I can therefore attest that preparing a PowerPoint presentation, or rather helping to, is really not any more exciting than watching a PowerPoint presentation.
When finally forced to make a presentation of my own in class using educational technology, I did not use PowerPoint. I used another program called [wikipop search=”Inspiration Software”]Webspiration[/wikipop], introduced to me in my EdTech5340 class here at UM-St. Louis. Webspiration worked well for me and I recommend anyone interested in PowerPoint alternatives give it a try.
Besides Webspiration, other apparently more popular alternatives to PowerPoint include Google Docs Presentations, [wikipop]Prezi[/wikipop], [wikipop]SlideRocket[/wikipop], ZohoShow and 280 Slides, according to PC World.1 Curiously, I did not find any reviews – or any mention whatsoever – of Webspiration on the PCWorld website, so I will share some key things about my own Webspiration experiences. First, it is an intuitive program. Second, Webspiration is colorful. Third, it is easy to use. After spending about twenty minutes in class working with Webspiration interactively with my fellow classmates, I created my own presentation a week or so later with little, if any, mental or physical pain. Therefore, I believe I am living proof that the Webspiration system is easy to learn. Also, it is free to try it. Yes, like so many things, at some point you will have to pay for Webspiration if you like it. No, I have not gotten to that point. You can try it for free at Webspiration. Don’t forget, PowerPoint is not “free,” either. And, with regard to Webspiration, if I can do it, you can, too!
I have learned that there are those who believe that PowerPoint is, in fact, evil, something I have suspected, but have not cared to investigate in great detail. If you are interested in this and would like further information, click here. I, however, enjoy humor more than conspiracy and, frankly, a lot more than evil. Along with many others, I have found proof that PowerPoint can make even the most interesting verbal presentations (aka “speeches”) mind numbingly dull. Two examples, for your perusal and amusement, include: If Only Martin Luther King Had Modern Software and Jargon (“I have a dream…” – such a moving speech has never been rendered more Land ‘o Nod worthy) and Peter Norvig’s Gettysberg Address PowerPoint. Frankly, I’m not sure Webspiration could have done either of those speeches justice, either, but I still like it a lot more than PowerPoint!
- http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/219882-1/powerpoint_alternatives_presentationtool_showdown.html [↩]
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