Breaking free from PowerPoint – going back to basics

So, last week I decided to make the brave move of teaching WITHOUT a PowerPoint. I had tried it once before in a school where the science lead, @Chem_MissC, did it expertly! I very much enjoyed the experience but struggled with the idea of trying it out at my current school where the pupils are a lot less well behaved.

Anyway, I was reading the wonderful ‘Dual Coding with Teachers’ by Oliver Caviglioli and decided to jump right in! 

It was amazing!

I found myself having more fun teaching compared to when using a PowerPoint. It was very liberating. The reason for this is simple. I found that by using a PowerPoint I was very restricted and relied heavily on the PowerPoint to get my subject knowledge across. 

I do use hand written notes which I am now writing in a book designed and printed by my lovely wife and her company. (She is also responsible for my excellent banner image for Twitter and YouTube account – search HG Labels and More on Facebook!!!). But these notes are very basic – no more than one side of A5 paper.

I have one of these for each science and KS3

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. If you want to understand something well, try to explain it simply.”

In addition to this, I found generally pupils were better behaved and I think this is due to several reasons: I have two whiteboards, so anyone who is slower at writing can catch up and anyone who is faster at writing can carry on without having to wait; as I am writing, I am speaking, leaving very little room for low level disruption to pick up; and lastly, due to having my back to the class whilst writing, my sense of hearing heightened and so I could quickly catch anyone not concentrating. 

The lessons have also been a lot more memorable for my students. When questioning this afternoon, my students were able to quickly recall information given to them a week ago without looking back in books. 

Admittedly, my drawings may need to improve but they haven’t been too bad so far!

Overall, breaking free from using PowerPoint is something that I would recommend to any teacher. I am definitely going to continue doing this and have given up PowerPoint for good! 

Message me through the contact page or share your similar experiences through my Twitter.

Thanks for reading,

@Ask_aPhysicist

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