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PowerPoint in Education. A guide for teachers who want to create presentations for use in their classrooms. Begin. Created by: Jennifer Cirino. So you need to create a PowerPoint…. PowerPoint presentations can be used many ways within the classroom.

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powerpoint in education

PowerPoint in Education

A guide for teachers who want to create presentations for use in their classrooms.


Created by: Jennifer Cirino

so you need to create a powerpoint
So you need to create a PowerPoint…

PowerPoint presentations can be used many ways within the classroom.

There are two basic types of presentations:

  • Those created by the Teacher
  • Those created by the Student

Click on the text

to learn more


teacher generated
Teacher Generated
  • Teachers create presentations themselves for a variety of reasons:
    • To present material with text and graphics (better than just a lecture)
    • To design interactive shows for students to work their way through themselves
    • To create Web Quests for students
    • As a tool to assess student knowledge (by creating an interactive quiz/test)
    • And many, many more!


student generated
Student Generated
  • Students can create PowerPoint presentations as well:
    • To present a project to a class
      • Either individually or in groups
    • As an alternative to writing an essay
    • As a way to show the progress of an assignment (e.g. a step-by-step guide on how they wrote an essay)
    • Etc.


Before even opening the program, make sure you have decided on appropriate objectives and goals for your students!Brainstorm…
  • When you understand what type of presentation you want to create, the first thing you need to do is plan the content!
    • The foundation for any PowerPoint is the material.
      • It needs to be clear and complete.
    • If the material is inadequate, then your students will have difficulty learning what you want them to learn.


and brainstorm
And Brainstorm…
  • When you write a paper, you usually start with an outline. The same thought process should be applied when you create a slideshow.
  • Begin with an outline of your material.
  • This can be done in a variety of ways:
    • On paper, by hand
    • In a Word document
    • Within the outline tab in PowerPoint
  • It’s important to know where you want to go before you begin!


powerpoint outline
PowerPoint Outline

The PowerPoint program has an outline built in.

By typing in the outline window, you automatically create text on different slides.

Worry about making the slides more interesting later – when you first begin make sure all your content is there!


design considerations
There are certain basic rules you should take into consideration when actually designing your show:

The main rule is that you should choose a consistent design throughout the presentation. This can easily be accomplished by choosing a pre-set “Design Layout”

Design Considerations
  • Background
  • Balance
  • Text
  • Fonts
  • Color Scheme
  • Graphics
  • Effects

Time to Start…

Stick with a single background scheme

The background is the stage for your information

Set the stage and leave it alone!

They should be simple, not graphical, and preferably a light color (pastel) if black print is used

Two color gradients are acceptable where one is white and the other is pastel



  • Make sure things look balanced on the screen
  • Bulleted lists should be justified to the left
  • By placing graphics off to the side, rather than in the middle, it allows more room for text


  • Avoid using italics (they are difficult to read!)
  • Make sure there is not a “text overload” on a slide
    • Basic guidelines suggest:
      • Six - Ten words per line
      • Six - Eight lines per page


  • Stick with similar fonts throughout the presentation
    • Use only a few
    • Use ones that are easy to read
  • Try to use the same size for the heading on each slide
  • Font size should be easy to read
    • Try not to use type smaller than 24pt


color scheme
Color Scheme
  • Colors that work well together are the best
    • PowerPoint has specific color schemes already built in
  • Use strong, contrasting colors
  • Remember – it might look good on the screen, but it also needs to look good through the projector if it is going to be presented to a class!


color pairs
Color Pairs

Some colors work well together, and others do not:

If the text is dark, the background should be light.

If the text is light, the background should be dark.

Avoid using shades of grey together

(this includes graphics as well).






good color pairs
Here are some examples of good color combinations:Good Color Pairs

Dark green and white

Dark red and white

Yellow and violet

Violet and white

Dark blue and yellow

Dark blue and white

Black and yellow

Black and white


bad color pairs
Here are some examples of bad color combinations:Bad Color Pairs

Red and green

Blue and black

Red and black

Black and green

Violet and blue

Violet and black


  • Just like with fonts, make sure you do not overwhelm the viewer with too many graphics
    • There shouldn’t really be more than two graphics per slide
  • They should balance the slide
    • Use as “fillers” where there is empty space


  • Try to be consistent with special effects, transitions, and animation
  • Transitions should not distract from the content of the presentation
    • The best ones “blend” in
  • When creating “interactive” presentations, text animation and transitions don’t work as well and are confusing for the user


design layout
Click on the Slide Design option in the Task Pane

(Design Templates)

Choose from many different designs

Design Layout


how do i start
How do I start?
  • There are many guides available to assist you with actually using the program. By reading/working through them, you will learn how to create strong presentations! 
    • Intro to PowerPoint(tutorials for different platforms)
    • Electric Teacher (website that covers the basics)
    • Assistance from the Microsoft website

Just glance through these now

and remember them

if you want extra help later!



more help
More Help
  • While tutorials can be helpful as an overview, sometimes you just need a quick answer to a specific question.
  • Rather than wasting time searching through the previous tutorials, remember that you can always go the “Help” menu!



i need a little help
The “Help” menu provides an overview of its contents

It also allows you to type a question and search for answers.

I Need a Little Help…


now for some practice
Now for some practice:

Here are two tutorials that will help you with creating PowerPoint presentations for your classroom.

Since they are associated with the University of Pittsburgh’s education program, you won’t have some of the files mentioned in the guides to use as models. However, by reading through the information, you will become familiar with PowerPoint.

Also, each guide has a section where you create a presentation from scratch by following directions. Work through these when you have time!


to PowerPoint





final touches
Once you have completed your slideshow, remember these final touches:

Practice your show (if you are presenting) and test-run the show on the computers (for interactive).

Print out handouts

For your audience

For yourself (with notes)

Consider posting your slide show on the web

Absent students can see what they missed

Slower learners can go through it at their own pace

It’s a great review for tests!

Final Touches



To create handouts, choose “Print” from the File menu

Then choose what to print:

You can print slides, handouts, notes, etc.

Choose “Handouts”

Decide how many slides per screen

By choosing 3 you can also have lines for people to take notes



posting on the web
You can easily post your presentation on the web

Just choose “Save as Web Page” from the File menu

Then you just need to upload all of the files to your web site

If you do decide to post a slide show on the web, the less complicated the show, the easier it is accessed on the Internet!

Posting on the Web!


Now that you understand the purpose of presentations, what design elements are the best, and how to actually work in the PowerPoint program, you are prepared to design your own!

The more you work with PowerPoint, the better you’ll become, so be patient!

And now it’s your turn!