To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. ~Mark Twain
Mark Twain’s observation can be applied to any field where convention has taken hold of reality. In business, especially, the PowerPoint ‘hammer’ has changed the way we look at content, tackle the information presented, and make decisions. The pounding is so universal that any sales pitch without this tool is viewed as suspect.
In education, PowerPoint is all too familiar. Its advent has shaped the way we view, understand, and organize content. It has evolved as a lecturer’s raison d’être. This 21-year-old invention is not the problem. Education’s adoption of this specific technology as the primary perspective is primitive and unpromising. Everything is starting to look like a nail.
I can’t help but wonder if education is at the same stage as medicine was before the introduction of technology and associated techniques. Medicine is at the brink of genetic engineering. But, where is education? Where are the precise, diagnostic models for measuring, calculating, refining, and understanding learning and instruction? Are we still looking for the hammer?