Today, presentation applications are increasing in popularity and providing powerful tools for creation of instructional materials and accessible information in audio-visual formats. When used appropriately, these tools can support and extend traditional presentations in valuable ways. In classroom settings, MS PowerPoint, in particular, has become the dominant presentation tool because it is both readily available and easy-to-use by instructors. It allows instructors to create and manipulate presentations in a wide variety of contexts that can enhance student’s interest and engagement.
In addition, it helps instructors clearly identify the main points of a topic or activity while still providing the details through presentation. Instructors can incorporate multiple types of media formats (e.g., diagram, photo, drawing, sound and video) that cannot be easily integrated together into one single medium. Learners are also attracted to PowerPoint because of graphical, transactional, aesthetic and interactive features it provides.
However, in order to be successful, a presenter needs to guide the audience through the presentation, keep their interest, and attract their attention. Although there is interest in online slide sharing applications (like SlideShare & Prezi), they should be presented by a teacher inside the classroom. In other words, slide content and visual features (such as zooming, transition effects, etc.) are not substitute for guidance a teacher should deliver. If the students are not seeing and listening to the teacher, then learning from the slides in isolation will be less valuable or impossible.
Video presentations are increasing interest in providing learners with actual presentations and video is demonstrated to be an expanding channel for presentation. Providing video presentations on demand to students is used to support facet-to-face, online, or blended learning. Students can choose when and where to use the video presentation and can spend as long or as little time on each learning activity.