Powerpoint, ahhh, Powerpoint

This post from Geomblog caught my eye on the current Tangled Bank. It links to the defense and attack against Powerpoint, respectively, with some commentary.

Many of you who do scientific presentations may have seen the infamous pamphlet on the drawbacks of Powerpoint, and other bullet-point presentation programs, as presentation tools. As for myself, one of my students anonymously slipped me one a year or two ago -- after the first day of class, no less. I mean, if you are going to try to convince your professor not to use Powerpoint, then please wait until you've seen a few lectures to see if he misuses it!

To tell you the truth, I really dislike Powerpoint. It crashes at least once a day on my Mac when I'm using it, and I've never gotten it to display the same thing on two different computers in the same way. I almost always find myself saving presentations as PDF's for meetings, because they always display correctly. When I get the chance, I will probably defect to Keynote.

But two things stand out for me. First, once slides are in order with presentation software, there's no more organizing them. And you can give your show anywhere you can take your computer. For me, that's all the notes I need to give a lecture.

And second, students love Powerpoint lectures. The evaluations say so.

So I was interested to see this defense of the tool, and find it just about right. It's the speaker that matters, not the projection method.