Showing posts from January, 2010

Interactive Lectures #1

I came across a site for presenters entitled Interactive Lectures that contains summaries of 36 formats for making a presentation interactive. Certainly my job as a teacher is part presenter and I found many ideas to work with in my own classroom. I decided to put my notes here as I examine some of these formats and how I may use them. Please use the comment section to add your ideas and allow this to grow.

Format #1: Best Summary
Each participant prepares a summary of the main points at the end of a presentation. Teams of participants switch their summaries and select the best summary from each set.

This reminds me of an "Exit Slip," which is a good way to check student understanding before they leave the room. The summary could be done in many formats (and may even be done several times during a class session).
- working in groups or individually, put summary on index card. If in groups, have them read each out loud. If individuals, collect and read a few out loud.
- technolog…

Change Agent's DNA?

While I was viewing The Field Guide for Change Agents created at Educon today I was reminded of an article I came across a few weeks ago entitled The Innovator's DNA. In it the authors identified five "discovery skills" in creative executives: associating, questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking.

It is no surprise that the skills necessary to become an innovative executive mirror those of a change agent in education. The fact that the change agent presentation was created at the Educon conference not only entails networking, but us noneducon attendees (or educon nonattendees?) can only imagine the amount of associating, questioning, observing, and experimenting that went on to produce such a document. They are skills that Change Agents (and probably most of the best educators) wield.

The great news is that in being drawn here and taking the time to read this post proves you have several of the "skills" of that innovative DNA. In this case, though,…

Is Sherlock Holmes obsolete in the Google age?

During a recent class discussion about a Sherlock Holmes story ("Adventure of the Speckled Band") my students and I had read, it occurred to me that maybe Holmes would be out of work in the 21st century. After all, anything that he could possibly think of (in this case it was a "swamp adder" from India) could be googled. So I asked my class what they thought. The immediate response was that Holmes was obsolete. Google could take his place. All of his knowledge was available right there for quick and easy access. Why memorize when you can google it?

Then there was a pause.

They caught themselves and actually began to think about it. I could have stopped right then and called the entire class session a success. Heck, that might even be considered a successful week. But we did continue. It was time to press my luck and see where this thought was going. First one voice (you gotta love that one - the one you sometimes wait to call on until many others have had a turn), a…