Try the paper test for a pupil's eye view

23rd December 2011 at 00:00

Most of the tips in the "Slide rules" panel in the TESpro report on PowerPoint ("Are your pupils bored by the whiteboard?", 16 December) make very good sense.

However, firstly I would point out that, in many classrooms, the window blinds are not totally effective, or are broken or absent. Daylight on the whiteboard bleaches out dark text on a white background. It is more effective to use a dark background (black or dark green) with a light text (white, bright yellow, lime green or turquoise).

Secondly, WordArt is better than text boxes in so far as it is harder to overload the screen with text and it more readily lends itself to demonstrating changes in terminology or grammar.

Thirdly, I would recommend the paper test. In the largest room you are likely to use, switch on the projector and go to the seat that is furthest away.

Hold a piece of paper at arm's length and cut or fold it until it exactly matches the visible screen. Then go to your PC or laptop and run your slide show. Hold the same piece of paper at arm's length and go forwards or backwards until the paper exactly matches the screen. Take the paper away. If you can not easily read your own presentation, neither can the pupils at the back of the room.

Phil Delnon, Supply teacher, Swanscombe, Kent.

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