"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Powerpoint makes us stupid"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/27powerpoint.html

Headline:  "We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint"

Great article in today's NY Times about the military's problem with Powerpoint. Besides wasting lots of time and therefore money by relegating junior officers--called Power Point Rangers-- to spending most of their time making up the programs. The use of PowerPoint  "stifles discussion, critical thinking and thoughtful decision making."

"Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable," said one General who banned power point presentations. A Marine General said, "Power point makes us stupid." The bulleted points are referred to as "Dumb-Dumb Bullets."

Still "death by PowerPoint seems here to stay," used to describe the numbing sensations that go with a 30-minute slide presentation. Of the 30 minute presentations to the media last 24 minutes with five minutes for questions. Those sessions  are called "hypnotizing chickens."

General McCrystal, in charge of the forces in Afghanistan, gets two PowerPoint presentations  per day, plus three more during the week! We're in trouble folks.

Higher ed folks, are you listening?

3 comments:

  1. Coffee with ClarkApril 27, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    Makes me wish General Grant had had to watch all that PowerPoint that McCrystal. Then we'd a-whipped him! We'd been a marchin' and out-smartin' him while he was a'sittin'

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  2. I hate power point. The corporate world loves it for presentations. I've been to several in the last two weeks. It reduces a presentation to the speaker reading the bullet points to us as we follow along with our written copies of what is up on the screen.

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  3. Just because most people cannot use PowerPoint effectively does not mean that the program is without it's benefits. You have to remember, it is the people using the program, not the other way around.
    For example, PowerPoint CAN be used quite effectively during a presentation to gather audio or video clips, to stress main points of the presentation, and to help the audience visualize what you are explaining. It's simple how you use the program.

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