“Do the Opposite”

In May 2010 I gave a talk to some members of my campus’s Honors College about some possible directions for its future. I learned PowerPoint for the talk–I had, purposefully, never used it before. Although I started my fulltime teaching career (in the early 1990s) simply reading my prepared lecture–as I still do if invited to present a lecture at another school or if giving a paper at a conference–I then moved to using acetate transparencies and old overhead projectors to get a quotation or an image in front of students. (I still have a thick binder full of them that I once used in my 100-level intro class; and yes, I still remember what freshly mimeographed copies also smelled like.) Many of my peers were moving to PowerPoint, though, and, predictably perhaps, students were soon complaining to me about having trouble following my lectures. Continue reading