Everyone knows PowerPoint. It is old news. Give students something new. I had assumed the same thing until I met with some sixth graders yesterday about making a video. I asked them, "Did you know that you can add music, record your voice and save your PowerPoint as a video?" They had a look of shock on their faces.
PowerPoint provides a great platform for video as students can import their own videos, images, text, and audio, but why bother? Why not use Powerpoint in the traditional sense? TIME!!! I think about when I taught fourth grade and how much time we lost doing presentations in front of the whole class. Why not create a gallery of PowerPoint presentation videos so that the entire class can spend twenty minutes perusing them as they please? I bet students would even spend time viewing them at home if they have Internet access...
Other IdeasStudents do not even have to do large presentations to utilize PowerPoint in video format. If you want them to report the plot of a book, they could create a presentation sharing the beginning, middle and end. Then follow it up by narrating, adding a tune from http://youtube.com/audiolibrary, and saving it as a video. Instant feedback. Try the same thing with a demonstration of how to solve a story problem in math. How about vocabulary? What if the students recorded a mini presentation of a vocabulary word and you had a shared gallery of words relating to a science topic? Match it up with QR codes to post around the school and now their fun project affects the entire student body. What about Digital Storytelling? Tons of possibilities.
On a final note, GAFE school districts can create the same magic using Snagit for Chrome and Google Slides. Check out this video by Natalia Lemoyne.