It was before smart phones and tablets, even before proper widespread use of the internet and not commonly known it was actually bought by Microsoft rather than designed by them. Since then, and its inclusion in Microsoft Office in 1993 it made its way into schools.
There is no doubt its turning into a rapidly forgotten art form, and although i have no information to suggest otherwise I would bet that teaching games wasn’t what Microsoft had in mind when they bought PowerPoint for 14 Million all those years ago.
Now we have smart phones, interactive whiteboards, coding workshops, tablets, laptops, but still teachers go back to PowerPoint for me the reason is simple. I am fortunate enough that i have some knowledge of both teaching and making games and coding. The issue i always faced when making games was trying to be relevant to what every teacher would need. I am lucky enough that being one i can make a better guess than most, but still every country, school, class year group, teach and of course pupil is different. I can’t and most games cant either, make a game or an app that can be totally adapted by a teacher. That’s where PowerPoint still shines its light. Once made it can be changed, adapted and reused for different abilities and there fore is not a one trick pony that so many learning apps can be ( sorry to say even mine!)
That’s not so say learning games don”t have their place, they do, but there is still a vital need for teachers to be able to edit and change the resources they present so they are both relevant and suitable for their class and they will always be the people who know their class the best That’s why PowerPoint and the games teachers have made are always going to have a place in classrooms until all those apps stop presuming to know what you want to teach and instead allow teachers to change them to suit their needs.
This clearly isn’t happening yet.
There is a website called PowerPointgames.uk and they have over 100 games that are or can be adpated for classroom use. These include Monopoly, Survivor, Spin the Wheel, Hangman, Rock Paper Scissors, Maze and Map games. there are even a couple of dinosaur themed games thrown in which are great. Rather than me talk about them its better if you go on over and check them out. They are totally free to download and adapt to your class and they will really add something to your lessons.
I cant recommend them enough and the work that has gone in is just incredible. I hope they help you as much as they have helped me!
It might be a fading art, but that light hasn’t gone out just yet!