Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Because It's True........

doesn't mean you should say it out loud.

It's a rare military class that doesn't involve PowerPoint. Now, there are a few good reasons to use it. The information is easy to store and share compared to handwritten lecture notes. The static images are capable of far better information content than a drawing on a dry erase board (chalk boards having disappeared years ago), although this is a mixed blessing, given the STD treatment class we just went through. Video content can be highly informative; watching an ambush from the Taliban's point of view a few day days ago made an impression on me that just talking about couldn't have competed with. And no more reams of copied papers thrown in the trash the moment the instructional block is over.

That said, there's some common traits I've run across here that make Death By PowerPoint a truism.

Slides that are simply images of the technical manual page we have in front of us.

The instructor or selected student reading said slide verbatim.

Slides that contain obscure information not relevant to the students. Is it really that important that I know who manufactures the axle of this particular MRAP?

Slides that haven't been updated in over five years. If you can't be bothered to stay current, why would I believe that you've taken the time to check the validity of your content?

Entire presentations that are swiped from someone else. If you can't be bothered to erase the original presenter's name, and you can't pronounce several of the diseases that are the reason for the presentation, I seriously doubt you know what you're talking about.

Slides that are electronic versions of a one-page paper.

Ask someone who's been in the military, and I'll bet they could come up with a lot more. But one thing will never change. Publicly crapping on your command results in bad outcomes. Hope he already has his twenty years in, because his career just came to a complete halt.

H/T Ace of Spades.

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