In his recent article for The Guardian Higher Education Network on the early adopter universities that are leading the way with educational technology, Steven Schwartz describes how, in the near future, technology will be tailored to students' needs and that online offerings will not be "merely... images from a camera plonked in front of a traditional class with a traditional lecturer fumbling with a traditional PowerPoint presentation".
This got me thinking as to how ubiquitous PowerPoint (PP) has become in the standard university lecture. What percentage of lectures are delivered through the medium of PowerPoint, Keynote or other presentational technology? Of course it may depend on the discipline but, from my own experience, I would hazard a guess that well over 50 per cent of all lectures are being communicated using PP. This means, as Schwarz states, that 'fumbling' with PP for a lecture is now tradition, it's now the norm.
The research on the use of PP for lectures is polarising. There's research on how students much prefer lectures with PP and the notes that can be generated to accompany the lecture (for example see Nicholson, 2002; and Amare 2006) and yet there is also evidence on how much students dislike PP. This heartfelt quote is from a series of comments on a blog giving tips for lecturing medical students;