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Using PowerPoint to teach the American Government Survey Course
Unformatted Document Text:  It has often been said that people should never watch two things being made: sausage and politics. Perhaps another should be added to that brief list: PowerPoint presentations. After this presentation, a fourth might be added: papers about how to use PowerPoint. The fact of the matter is that PowerPoint has become a major means of presenting information to a variety of audience. Its use in the business world is well-known and documented but now it has been employed in sermons, testimony before juries, and education too.. The key word is visual. Today’s students are much more visually oriented than students of the 70s. 80s, and even 90s Besides the pervasiveness of television, there is the more supplicated world of computer graphics. Compare, if you will, Star Wars I which came out in 1977 with Star War: Episode III: The Return of the Sith which was released in 2006. The animation and graphics are more highly developed and visually enhanced but more than that, it makes the picture a better one. The application of PowerPoint in the class can and does visually enhance the traditional lecture technique that many of us got in our college and university undergraduate education. The presenter/lecturer can reinforce the text shown on the screen with his/her explanation and elaboration of concepts and ideas. Furthermore, these ideas can be explored further with links to the Internet or with digitized video clips. What is now in play is a more effective audio and visual presentation of facts, ideas, and data. Page 2

Authors: Clowers, Myles.
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It has often been said that people should never watch two things being
made: sausage and politics. Perhaps another should be added to that brief list:
PowerPoint presentations. After this presentation, a fourth might be added:
papers about how to use PowerPoint.
The fact of the matter is that PowerPoint has become a major means of
presenting information to a variety of audience. Its use in the business world is
well-known and documented but now it has been employed in sermons,
testimony before juries, and education too..
The key word is visual. Today’s students are much more visually oriented
than students of the 70s. 80s, and even 90s Besides the pervasiveness of
television, there is the more supplicated world of computer graphics. Compare, if
you will, Star Wars I which came out in 1977 with Star War: Episode III: The
Return of the Sith which was released in 2006. The animation and graphics are
more highly developed and visually enhanced but more than that, it makes the
picture a better one.
The application of PowerPoint in the class can and does visually enhance
the traditional lecture technique that many of us got in our college and university
undergraduate education. The presenter/lecturer can reinforce the text shown on
the screen with his/her explanation and elaboration of concepts and ideas.
Furthermore, these ideas can be explored further with links to the Internet or with
digitized video clips. What is now in play is a more effective audio and visual
presentation of facts, ideas, and data.
Page 2


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