Tufte on PowerPoint

Edward Tufte: Books – Essay: The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint is a great short work on the problems of PowerPoint as a communications aide. How can we do better?

Tufte suggests a well designed 11 by 17 inch page folded to get a four page handout that you can pass around to all your students. I really rather like the idea.

Other thoughts would be a scrolling and narrative slide show. What if the slides were a subtext to the presentation, not a repetition. Or having narrative that expands on the slides for online use. What if students had laptops and accessed the notes for a class?

The underlying issue is communicating complex ideas and the limitations of low resolution screens of points. PowerPoint collapses complex narratives of ideas into technical writing.