Power is of the most common technologies used in today’s classrooms. Unfortunately too often the Power Point is a presentation created by a teacher and presented to students in a way that the students passively receive information instead of interacting with it. A better way to use this technology is to flip it around. Let students use the technology to interact with the information. Have students do research and use the research to make a presentation. Or even better, let students use Power Point (or Prezi or Google Slides) to make something more than a presentation. This post will give you ten ways that you can use Power Point to create more than a presentation. Use them as a teacher to create something more interactive for your students and it will be helpful to their understanding. Give these ideas to your students and let them create projects of their own and they will build a far deeper understanding than they ever could listening to a lecture.
Before we discuss the possible projects, let’s talk about the most useful, and most overlooked feature of Power Point. This is the ability to create hyperlinks. Within Power Point and Google Slides, you can create hyperlinks not only to outside websites, but also to slides within the presentation. These links can take students from slide one to slide ten and back, effectively building a website that is hosted only on your computer. Understanding this skill is a key point in making each of the following projects.
10 Projects to Make with Power Point that Aren’t Presentations
1.) Create a game – With enough slides, you could technically create a full video game with Power Point. My students create vocabulary games with Power Point, but any type of game can be made. Students can include text, photographs, video, etc. They can hyperlink a path for their players that guides them through whatever topic they are exploring. The hyperlinks can go simply to a “Yes” or “No” answer slide or a “home” slide, or the links can guide students through a variety of levels. The games are limited truly only by a student’s imagination.
2.) Create a video – Using transitions and animations within Power Point, students can create a very engaging presentation. Then, using screencast software, students can create a video of themselves talking people through the presentation, resulting in a .mp4 video file. Here is a video my son made using Power Point for his Country Study Project on China:
3.) Create an online poster – Online posters are images with links to additional information. I recently wrote an entire blog post on 4 Ways to Create Online Posters, and one of the easiest ways is through Power Point. Both Power Point and Google Slides allow you to save your completed project as a .pdf file. This means that you have a beautiful poster, which can include clip art, shapes, word art, and text that also has links to where people can find further information.
4.) Create an E-Quiz – Jeopardy games have been around for awhile and there are a wide range of easy to use, free to download templates to create these e-quiz games. Students can also easily create their own multiple choice questions and hyperlink each option to a correct or incorrect slide. An example of this is my Long Division Jeopardy Game.
5.) Create interactive equations – When we begin talking about variables with students, we use symbols such as stars and hearts to stand for the missing numbers. In Power Point, you can layer a shape or a clip art image on top of a textbox. Then, you add an animation to the shape or image so that when activated, the shape or image will disappear. This way the person “playing” with the interactive equations can attempt the equation on their own and then check their work by activating the slide. Here is an example of a compiled Power Point that my students made when I was teaching in a technology lab. This is one of the projects from my Math Technology Integration Matrix.
6.) Create a virtual field trip – Pictures, videos, maps, hyperlinks and text can be put together to build a “field trip” to any dplace on earth or in history. These virtual field trips can be recorded as a video or they can be more of an interactive web where the person “visiting” the field trip can choose to click on different elements and explore their own interests. My History Time Machines are a small example of virtual field trips. I also had my students create virtual field trips for during our Deserts of the World Unit.
7.) Create interactive flash cards – By using a large rectangular shape, students can cover half of their slide and create a set of “flash cards” where each slide is a separate flash card. These could be vocabulary flash cards, math flash cards, flash cards about important historical events or really anything students would make regular flash cards for. When activated, students can “turn over” their flash card by having the rectangle disappear. Here is an example of using Power Point to practice multiplication facts:
8.) Create interactive diagrams – Diagrams and pictures are a bit easier to make in Power Point because images and shapes can be so easily manipulated. But even more than that, students can link each image or shape to outside websites or other slides with additional information. For example, my son created this food web about the plants and animals in Germany for his Country Study Project. When you click on any of the items on the food web, it takes you to a slide with lots of information about that plant or animal.
9.) Create step by step directions – Using photographs, shapes and arrows, students could create a step by step tutorial to how to do just about anything. In fact, using screenshots (press print screen to copy, use CTRL+V to paste), students could create a “how to” for other students on how to create something in Power Point. These how to or step by steps could then be saved as a .pdf or even as a set of images. Print them out and you have your computer center directions ready too!
10.) Create a digital storybook – Digital storytelling is a great motivation for creative writing. With Power Point, even non readers could create a digital story, by putting together photographs, shapes, or images. They could even draw pictures in Paint or KidPix and insert the pictures into Power Point. Once the story is complete, the students can dictate the words while recording a video or add in typed up words and save as a .pdf.
Power Point is a great tool. Google Slides does most of the same if you don’t have Power Point on your computers. But the key to all of these projects is to let the students build interactive projects with knowledge they have learned in class or through individual research.