Let’s face it. Some teachers are not too big on technology.
They prefer tried and tested methods, like worksheets, flashcards, and games. They’re willing to spend hours designing, coloring, and assembling a board game, but are reluctant to spend half an hour on a Power Point presentation. The issue of the use of technology in the classroom has been the subject of debate for decades now. Needless to say, technology should never be used for technology's sake, but the implementation of certain tools may be highly effective . And overhead projectors are just one of the tools we have at our disposal.
Is the use of multimedia projectors really necessary? Aren't they more suited to a business setting? These are valid questions. However, there are situations in which the use of overhead projectors may be highly effective in driving home the component you wish to teach.
When are overhead presentation projectors recommended and when are they simply too much?
Presentation projectors are ideal in large classrooms of over 20 students. For smaller groups, they may not only be unnecessary, but also even ineffective. They are also not recommended for groups of very small children, as their attention spans are shorter and they are more kinesthetic learners; however, very short presentations are ok for the littlest ones, and teens and adults should be able to handle longer ones.
What can you teach through overhead presentation projectors?
You can teach anything you like, but make sure the use of the overhead projector is justified. Ask yourself: Is this the best way to teach this particular set of vocabulary or grammar point? If you consider it carefully and decide this will be your tool of choice, then by all means use it!
Here are some examples of lessons that may be greatly enhanced through an overhead presentation:
•Teaching vocabulary with sound: Design a Power Point presentation with animals and include the sounds they make.
•Comparisons: Have slides filled with things for students to compare, like prices, lengths, sizes. This may work with either Power Point presentations or overhead transparencies. For example, design a slide with a family composed of 5 or 6 members, all with varying heights, and each with their name underneath. Have students compare family members and name the tallest, shortest, etc…
•Predictions: Use a set of slides where you show a sequence of events. As you pause at each slide, have students predict what will happen next, then show them the slide that follows so they can see if they were right. For example, have four slides that show a girl washing her hands, sitting down for lunch, having dessert, then, brushing her teeth. As you pause at each slide, students have to guess what will come next. Great for practicing future with “will”!
•City tour: Show your students slides with photos of different locations and points of interest in any important English-speaking city. Also, photo presentations are great for holidays, sports, professions or anything that you want to teach with real life photos.
These types of presentations may be used for introducing completely new vocabulary or grammar, practice and drilling, review, or even oral tests.