Why Interaction in Classroom Presentations Matter

Presentations that require independent exploration of content can be profoundly enhanced by interactive components such as links and buttons. Especially for presentations that are non-linear, interactive components can greatly improve the navigability and usability of a presentation.

Traditionally, digital presentations such as those done in PowerPoint are presented by teachers in-person and often in front of a class. Now with the integration of blended teaching approaches that allow students to explore concepts and lessons from home, presentations are most beneficial when accessible both in the classroom and online. This is particularly true when such presentations are created by students as part of a classroom project, as there are several benefits to having students share projects online.

Online presentations promote self-directed learning in which students become skilled at independently navigating through content and becoming more resourceful. It also saves you from having to dedicate extensive periods of class time solely for presentations, leaving more class time for collaboration, questions, and discussion. For example, imagine you have set a time period of two weeks for students to work on their projects in class. Instead of having to dedicate three of those days to presentations, you can opt to have students share projects online and have the full ten school days focused on developing their projects, collaborating with classmates, and having access to readily available classroom resources. Of course, presenting projects has its advantages as it helps students practice their public speaking and communication skills. Nonetheless, if you use a project-based learning approach in the classroom that often requires the use of digital presentation tools, it may be easier to squeeze it into your curriculum if you have options.

So how can you make a presentation interactive? The answer is simple: buttons and links. While slides in a presentation should be minimal in the amount of text provided, links offer a gateway to additional information that students can explore if a certain topic or concept peaks their interest. Buttons can also be used to link within presentations; for example, from slide #2 to slide #7. This offers students the flexibility of navigating the content in any order by not confining them to the linear structure of a typical slides-based presentation.

Now that you understand the importance of interactive presentations, next week, we’ll teach you how to incorporate interactive components to a PowerPoint presentation. Get ready to step out of the linear slideshow bubble as you learn how a few simple buttons and links can make a presentation wildly more engaging. Stay tuned, the teacher tip video on creating an interactive PowerPoint presentation will be live next week!

Until then..have a great weekend and happy teaching!

The PDI Team

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