It’s a low-tech office dinosaur of the 20th century, but I still use the OHP for teaching. It’s really good for…
- Warm-up: Students present themselves in pictures they’ve drawn on a slide
- Images: Cartoons etc. to jump-start a topic; better than photcopies, saves paper, everyone is looking up.
- Text work (email, correspondence, translation): Participants hand-write on slides and then present on the OHP, and we correct things together. It’s much faster than writing on a whiteboard/ flipchart. Slides can be collected and typed up. Or students mail me texts which I print out on OHPs – great when a class is big.
- Guessing/ reconstructing content: Print out a text on an OHP and cover it partly with paper that has holes in it. This is Mark Powell’s wonderful idea, which he calls the “holistic approach to teaching” 🙂 And of course: You uncover the content on your slide slowly…
- An OHP and a roll of blank foil is a good backup tool when your laptop goes on strike (sigh), though working straight onto foil is positively blinding.
I do hate wasting material (those plastic slides) and energy (those hot lamps). Pictures can be drawn on recycled A3 paper, and handwritten work can go up on pinboards. A small group can practice email on laptops with a data projector. (Hmm, I wonder: What’s the ecobalance on that?) And I could make a Powerpoint or Keynote template that simulates the “holistic approach”. But the OHP does it all so much more simply… So: long live the dinosaur!