The Pedagogy of PowerPoint

David Parry bio photo By David Parry

I am catching up on all of the items I flagged for reading over the past week, and I ran across a tremendously well developed paper on Seminar.net about The Rhetoric of PowerPoint. This is a paper by Jens. E. Kjeldsen an associate professor at the University of Bergen, Norway. Kjeldsen rightly points out that technology is not neutral, but rather effects the way we transmit and understand knowledge. I want try to summarize his analysis here, but needless to say he is not very positive about Power Point (although I found the piece to be more fair than some critiques—he does spend time talking about what PowerPoint can do well). This is a long article, longer than most web pieces, but well worth the effort (it is even available for download as a .pdf and he summarizes the article in a flash video). Especially important is the closing remarks where he suggests that we need a Rhetorics of New Media, more than just a literacy.