PowerPoint Remix Rant

Re-use, the connotation springs eternal in many facets of our daily and professional lives. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle until it comes to a “learning object”. Then it is as Mike points out a difficult, fragile row to hoe. It’s easier to just start over from scratch rather than build off or stand on the shoulders of the “other person”, what created the learning object. Instead of re-use, maybe what should attempt to do, or maybe NOT do is reinvent. You may not be able to re-use, and if you chose to not re-use, at the very least don’t reinvent. That may be the best use of a learning object. And I think that’s a better use of people’s most valuable resources (1.Time 2.Attention). So hear, hear to Mike Caulfield, it’s absolutely true what he’s saying about the promise vs. reality of re-use for PowerPoint and a lot of other “publishing” or “document-oriented” tools.


I’m just back from some time off, and I’m feeling too lazy to finish reading the McGraw-Hill/Microsoft Open Learning announcement. Maybe someone could read it for me?

I can tell you where I stopped reading though. It was where I saw that the software was implemented as a “PowerPoint Plugin”.

Now, I think that the Office Mix Project is a step in the right direction in a lot of ways. It engages with people as creators. It creates a largely symmetric reading/authoring environment. It corrects the harmful trend of shipping “open” materials without a rich, fork-friendly environment to edit them in. (Here’s how you spot the person who has learned nothing in the past ten years about OER: they are shipping materials in PDF because it’s an “open” format).

The PowerPoint problem is that everything in that environment encourages you to create something impossible to reuse. Telling people to…

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