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K-State Today

May 10, 2021

APDesign architecture professor to conduct PowerPoint workshop at national teaching conference

Submitted by Thom Jackson

Mick Charney

Mick Charney, associate professor of architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design and university distinguished teaching scholar, has been invited to conduct the workshop, "The Point of PowerPoint Is to Use All Its Power" at the Teaching Professor Conference, June 5, in New Orleans.

Charney, who has taught visually rich architectural history classes for 45 years, continues to research and refine our collective understanding of the potentials of PowerPoint as an extraordinary tool of teaching empowerment. As PowerPoint becomes an increasingly ubiquitous and even crucial centerpiece of pedagogy for so many instructors who strive to maximize learning outcomes through multimedia, there still is widespread reluctance among educators to explore all its bells and whistles. Both the intentions of PowerPoint's inventor and the findings of brain scientists affirm that the intentional use of PowerPoint's elaborative capabilities can significantly improve learning. That is, beyond employing standardized PowerPoint templates and bullet points, the judicious addition of images, animations, transitions, dissolves, embedded video clips and even cheesy GIFs or other things that move or spin can produce huge cognitive gains.

The annual Teaching Professor conferences rank among the premier teaching and learning conferences worldwide, drawing well over 1,000 attendees every year. Since 2008, Charney has delivered nine presentations at annual teaching professor conferences. His topics have ranged from critical thinking in the arts to the use of collaborative social media projects in the construction of course content, from managing difficult dialogues in large lecture classes to the use of commonplace books in small classes, from devising hint fiction assignments as a means by which to jump-start the writing imperative to conceptualizing engaging teaching strategies by gleaning ideas from Disney's repertoire of Imagineering tricks. Charney was designated an honorary Walt Disney Imagineer in 2010.