Learn to use the tools you’ve already got

9:47 pm PowerPoint

There’s a tendency to think that particular tools are necessary to carry out a job and that without those tools the job is too difficult and can’t be done. Usually we are already in possession of tools that might be of some use but we ignore them. Often this is because we won’t take the time to learn how to use them properly, and if we did we would find that they are more than adequate for the job.

In elearning PowerPoint is one such tool. The use of PowerPoint is often confined to projected presentations in front of which the presenter stands either reading out lists of bullet points, adding little value, or discussing the contents of the slides with the audience, a more value-added way of doing things. Either way, the opportunities for using PowerPoint as a stand-alone presentation medium are often left unexplored, other than providing printed hand-outs for the audience.

For example, PowerPoint is capable of producing highly effective animations which, combined with effective recorded narration, can produce powerful learning materials. This is much less expensive that using Flash to produce the animations and many people have the necessary tools available as part of Microsoft Office. The difficult part for many people comes with setting aside the time to learn how to use PowerPoint properly. However, as with many tools, once you are using the tool to complete the project, rather than using the tools being the project, work progresses more quickly and effectively and excellent results are achieved.

So, instead of looking longingly at expensive rapid elearning tools or trying to obtain the budget required for custom Flash animation, look at utilising the potential withing the PowerPoint toolbox and see how far that will take you.

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