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Why PPT Seems to Be So Widely Used in #eLearning

Instructional design does not influence people's use of new technologies. Industrial designers, Software engineers, UX Designers, they are the ones that have the power to influence the use of a new technology. Our job, writes Brent Schlenker, as instructional designers, is to figure out what our learners are currently familiar with and deliver a learning experience they can consume in whatever medium they are comfortable with.

Now pretend you are not a instructional designer but an avid teacher in need to start using social media tools in your classrooms. The fact is that even at this point no so many colleagues are still familiar with Facebook, LinkedIn, My Space or Twitter. They think these tools don't allow a personal way of learning, and in most cases teachers don't want to let their time to be devoured by social media tools. Mark Berthelemy, a UK based IT expert, says Twitter is "not really a good environment for a conversation."

Now, if instructional designers are the only ones with the power to influence uses of new technologies and some of the so popular solutions we know such as Twitter, are not a good place to hold conversations, one comes to think, what are the solutions for our classrooms with higher acceptation? In other words, which tool is the king and works for conversations, presentations and may influence the auditorium.

The eLearning Brothers site believes PowerPoint -PPT is widely used and gives out some strong reasons. They say "with some good thought and instructional design you can use most any tool to a decent level of effectiveness."

Is PowerPoint the most widely used tool for eLearning development?

Brother Andrew, editor of the eLearningBrothers is also an "Expert Author” on EzineArticles.com. He suggests a few reasons why PPT seems to be so widely used in eLearning:

1. Classroom training is often converted to an online format. Every classroom course has a PPT and it’s usually the first thing that someone thinks about when they want to put the course online. Unfortunately too often the PPT is simply thrown online without having truly turned it into effective eLearning.

2. Everyone has PPT. It’s probably already on every training person’s computer.

3. Everyone knows how to use it (and if they don’t it’s pretty easy to learn.)

4. You can quickly create content and there are tons of layouts, backgrounds, and color themes.

5. And last but not least, Microsoft already owns the world so why not conform?

Do you believe PPTs can be retouched and give origin to a new eLearning tool? Or you think Twitter is a good alternative and can surpass the actual role of PPT, what it has been your personal experience?

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  1. Hello Milton,
    Thanks for mentioning us in your post. I've used many eLearning dev tools in the past decade and they all have their pros and cons. I don't agree that PPT is the best but I do think that with some creative thought it can be a good tool.
    As for twitter ... I don't know. I do mostly eLearning and haven't seen it used yet in a "formal" way. I have seen many exchanges of information but it seems more "grassroots" and informal. I think that if Twitter were to be used it would be tough to direct the conversation too much. You'd have to "go with the flow".