Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What Technology Will Revolutionize Education?

It's a trick question!  According to This Will Revolutionize Education, a new video just posted by Derek Muller at Veritasium, none of the technologies that have been predicted to revolutionize education really have done so.

Not radio, not movies, not television, not computers. So what will revolutionize education?  A better understanding of the learning process—what goes on inside the heads of learners.

Muller also points out that all of the previously predicted revolutions in education were predicated on a notion that technologies would eventually replace teachers.  But they haven't done so, have they?  That's because, Muller stipulates, teachers are needed for the social aspect of learning.  As long as you have a good teacher, the technology doesn't matter.

Watch Derek's brief and engaging This Will Revolutionize Education and see what you think.

For me, it supports a long-held theory that all these new electronic learning tools are just that—they are simply tools.  They need to be used by teachers and learners skillfully to be effective.  The tools alone—or the wrong tools for the wrong job—or the right tools used badly—just will not work.

So when I hear colleagues say that "lectures don't work" or "online learning doesn't work" or "PowerPoints don't work" I'm thinking it's like saying "hammers don't work" just because you've never learned how to use a hammer correctly or have never seen a hammer used effectively.  Like Derek, I think it's how a teacher uses the tools of education that is the key.

Watch This Will Revolutionize Education for yourself and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Presentation Zen

I just ran across an article at the Cult of Pedagogy blog that reinforces some ideas that I've been sharing with my students who are in training to be anatomy and physiology professors. They're from a book by Garr Reynolds called Presentation Zen, which is all about improving presentations.

These include:
  • Tell a story: tell it, don't put it all on your slide
  • Use pictures: they help students "get it"
  • Keep each slide simple: do you want them reading the slide or listening to your story?

The blog article also includes this nifty video to summarize some of these points.

Want to know more?

The Cure for Bad PowerPoint: A Review of Presentation Zen

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

  • Garr Reynolds. New Riders. 2011. 312 pages.
  • The book that oullines Reynold's ideas on PowerPoint presentations.

Presentation Zen

Are your students dodging bullets?

  • Kevin Patton. The Electronic Professor. JULY 28, 2011
  • My blog article on improving slide presentations.

Handling bullets safely

  • Kevin Patton. The Electronic Professor. AUG 3, 2012
  • Another of my blog articles on improving slide presentations.