Turn on new learning initiatives with PowerPoint

Guest Post by Toby Trewin, Microsoft Expert Educator

Whilst PowerPoint is often typecast as a just a presentation tool, there are a number of effective uses of this application to create innovative initiatives with your students in the classroom. With a short learning curve to use the program or often previous experience and skills in using the popular application, PowerPoint becomes the logical choice for a number of new tasks. Below are a few ideas to get you thinking outside the ‘Presentation Box’.


Recently when researching a number of possible solutions for a teacher wanting to create infographics within her course, I found numerous online creation options. These 3rd party online infographic options were found to be reasonably easy to use but there were cost implications and limited design options that produced a good infographics that were unfortunately quite generic and the process stifled the creativity of the students. Instead we utilised PowerPoint, which when coupled with the fundamental elements of an infographic (contrast, hierarchy, accuracy, relevance, truth), produced impressive results that allowed the students the freedom of a blank canvas to create and an opportunity to utilise their experience and skills to produce clear and well-designed infographics.



E-Publishing in PowerPoint is quick and easy and can be applied to a multiple of subjects. Creating artifacts such as a digital magazine can offer the opportunity to combine a number of existing student tasks and assignments into one clearly presented format. This single format also allows for scaffolding within the document to assist learners of all abilities and ensure a high success rate. By including pre-defined areas in your magazine with a clear criteria, your students will be able to clearly self-evaluate their progress and visual gauge their presentation for the intended audience.


Digital Portfolios

While digital or ‘e’ portfolios are not quite cutting edge, they have become an essential format for a number of subjects, particularly those in the arts, design and technology domains where an externally assessed portfolio is often an assessment requirement. The numerous advantages of using PowerPoint in this scenario includes:

  • Real time teacher feedback and assistance available when the file is saved in OneDrive allowing for seamless collaboration
  • Digital advantage of easy manipulation and organisation to format and compile multiple media content in one portfolio
  • Clearly defined pages allowing hard copy printing at the conclusion if required.


Co-Curricular newsletters

PowerPoint can also be beneficial in enhancing your school community through the publication of co-curricular newsletters. One example at our school of this is through the creation of a weekly sport report to publish team results, match reports and the inclusion of associated images and embedded video. PowerPoint makes this process efficient by allowing template creation for easy inclusion of the weekly information, internal hyperlinks to quickly navigate between various sports and information pages and advanced image formatting tools enabling professional presentation of the team sporting achievements. Several export options allow for multiple distribution and publishing options to your school community.


Guest Post by Toby Trewin, Hale School – Perth, Western Australia

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Toby Trewin, an Education Technology Specialist from Perth, Western Australia, integrates innovative and effective technology in the classroom for staff and students. Toby’s recent achievements include selection as a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert Educator for utilising various technologies to engage students and peers in innovative ways to positively impact learning. In addition to this recent achievement, Toby has previously been awarded as a Microsoft Innovative Teacher, delivered sessional lecturing at the University of Western Australia, provided course writing and panel membership at the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, completed a Master’s of Education degree, become a qualified Microsoft ICT Peer Coaching Facilitator and has presented at numerous educational conferences.