It's a Tool

PPT slideSo I was teaching some 6th graders today and we were discussing PowerPoint. I asked the students "what is PowerPoint?" The responses I received were about what I expected. "PowerPoint is a bunch of slides", "PowerPoint is used in meetings?" (I chuckled at this one), etc. One student, however, gave me the answer I was looking for. She said, "PowerPoint is a tool". I had previously talked to this class about technology being a tool that can be used to solve problems so I asked her what problems can be solved with this tool. She said that PowerPoint could be used to help "people communicate and share ideas". I was thrilled. "Yes," I said, "remember, an effective use of PowerPoint helps you get your ideas and messages across... but it is those ideas that should take center stage, not the tool". Good class, they are getting it!