PowerPoint often gets a bashing as being a bad tool, but that isn’t the case it is a very good tool that unfortunately gets used badly. Something that I try to do in my work is help educators to see PowerPoint in a different way, and to start using in an engaging and active manner, rather than the passive tedious way that so many seem to favour.
One technique that I have used over the years is to use timers in my presentations – these are simple mechanisms that countdown a certain time increment when setting the class any sort of activity, question or anything like that.
The reason I use timers, is it helps to focus the learners on the task in hand so they don’t drift off into other conversations, this helps with class discipline. It also helps me to stay on task and stick to the timings that I had planned.
The timers are available to download for free (for educational use) from http://www.a6training.co.uk/resources/Countdown_Timers_For_PowerPoint.ppt and the only skills that they require you to have is the ability to select, copy and paste – so can be used by any tutor.