I’m happy that many educators outside of the blogosphere are beginning to recognize that sitting power points that are chock full of bullet points are not the way they want to engage and be engaged. However, I believe if they think the answer is to switch from Powerpoint to Prezi, Haiku, or any other brand of slide deck they might need to ask themselves what the problem with powerpoint is.
1. Powerpoint is presentation software, that is to say it is intended to support a speaker when delivering a speech. If you are using powerpoint as a substitute for a web site, a movie, or a student portfolio or anything that does not require a speaker you are likely using it wrong. Words come from the speaker, images when they support what the speaker is saying, can be used in the powerpoint.
2. If Powerpoints are ineffective in supporting a speaker’s presentation, we need to teach some presentation basics, not necessarily pick up a new tool (though I prefer Keynote).
If we don’t teach students to be effective communicators, they will communicate ineffectively no matter what tool they’re using.