Teaching with PowerPoint Presentations


PowerPoint presentations are used in many different fields due to their ability to organize and structure information, create a consistent format, and provide the audience with visuals. Educators often use this type of presentation in their classrooms in order to guide the class through a lecture. The effectiveness of PowerPoint presentations is often debated, but most agree that when created in the right way, these presentations have many benefits for students of all ages. The amount of information on each slide, the type of transition between slides, the color of the background, and the number of slides are all factors to consider when teaching with PowerPoint Presentations, and there are many resources out there that will help guide you when you begin creating your own presentation.


Nowadays, technology is being used in the classroom more often than not as a tool to aid educators in teaching their students course content. PowerPoint presentations are often utilized by educators during lectures, which is why there are many resources available online to provide them with the best strategies to create and present these presentations in their classes.

Lesson Plans

  1. The 4 Best PowerPoint Lesson Plans for Middle School: Applied Educational Systems has put together four of the best lesson plan ideas to teach middle schoolers how to use PowerPoint. Each of the lesson plans (An Introduction to Microsoft PowerPoint, the Basics of Building a PowerPoint Presentation, More Features in Powerpoint, and the Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Presentations) includes a brief introduction and an activity for students to practice the skills that they have learned. By the end of these lessons, students will be able to create a new presentation, practice working with text and images, make their presentations interesting, and apply the principles of effective presentations to their own.
  2. PowerPoint Lesson Plan for Elementary Students: Perkins provides a class project which requires students to create “All About Me” PowerPoints while learning how to add text, pictures, sound effects, videos, and other features to their presentations. Directions call for students to be split into groups to put together multiple slides that will eventually be combined for a whole class presentation. Topics for each slide include students’ names, families, pets, favorite foods, favorite colors, favorite subjects, etc. This lesson plan gives educators a fun way to have younger students learn how to create PowerPoint presentations for their own use or future educational purposes.


  1. How Can I Use PowerPoint More Effectively?: In this article, David Forrest discusses strategies educators can utilize to make their PowerPoints more effective in the classroom. Forrest first recommends deciding on the role of your PowerPoint, which could be a lecture outline, note-taking aid (fill-in-the blank slides), visual aid, timed quizzes, or others. He also talks about the appearance of each slide because less is more in this situation, as the last thing any educator wants is for their students to become distracted from content by their presentation. Lastly, the author goes over how educators should prepare for technological failure or anything else going wrong during their PowerPoint presentation. This piece is a good one for educators to read before creating their own presentations!
  2. PowerPoint in the Classroom: NCBI provides a few different articles on whether PowerPoints are necessary or pointless in the classroom. Ultimately, despite the fact that some of the authors of these articles see PowerPoint presentations as unnecessary, their points of view give insight on what not to do when creating your own presentation, such as adding too much information per slide. Taking all of the arguments given in the articles into consideration will help you decide the best way to begin using PowerPoint presentations in your classroom.
  3. PowerPoint in Education: This brief article goes over the ways in which you can present your PowerPoint presentation most effectively in order to help students retain the most information. There are proper ways to use various technologies in the classroom, and in the case of PowerPoints, this author believes that the “intelligent use” of Powerpoint presentations is when the information presented is in the form of complicated graphs or figures and alphanumeric information. However, in cases where students are expected to retain certain information and concepts, traditional presentations would be best.

Informational Sites

  1. NIU – Teaching with PowerPoint: NIU runs through the ways to design effective PowerPoint presentations and the best practices when using this online software. First, the author describes how educators should design their presentation, including how to prepare for the presentation, slide content, the number of slides, emphasis on content, clip art, and a final check of the PowerPoint. Next, the use of PowerPoint handouts and tips for the actual presentation itself are detailed. Lastly, NIU explains how to enhance teaching and learning with PowerPoint and suggests ways to engage students with the presentation.
  2. Making Better PowerPoint Presentations: Vanderbilt University has put together a page on Baddeley and Hitch’s model of working memory (which relates to how students retain information received through different sensory domains), student preferences for PowerPoint (characteristics they like or don’t like and when students learn more), and resources for making better PowerPoint presentations.
  3. UW – Teaching with Powerpoint: UW provides educators with information on when and how to use a PowerPoint, which ultimately depends upon each individual’s teaching style, and the options for using PowerPoints (illustrated lectures, instructions, paper proposals, discussion prompts, test or quiz answers, grammar exercises, and student projects). At the end of the piece, a few additional resources, including a video, online tutorial, and essay, are given to help educators learn how to teach with PowerPoints in the best way.


PowerPoint presentations have many different purposes, but in the classroom, their main purpose is to help direct the lesson or lecture, while also giving students the opportunity to follow along and better understand the material. Presentations can also be a great resource for students to study off of before an assessment or use as a note-taking aid during class. Overall, the resources provided above will be useful when you are putting together PowerPoint presentations for your curriculum material. Take all of these tops into consideration, but remember to make it your own!

Additional Resources

  1. The Impact of Using PowerPoint Presentations on Students’ Learning and Motivation in Secondary Schools: ScienceDirect published an informational article on the impact of using PowerPoint presentations on students’ learning and motivation in secondary schools. In this article, the results of a study which investigated the effectiveness of PowerPoint presentations in teaching English and whether students prefer this learning process over traditional teaching styles are provided. The results support the notion that PowerPoint presentations can be used as an effective tool in the classroom. Taking a look at this piece may cause you to consider using these presentations in your classroom!