Lecture As Content Delivery Is Dead

Lecture As Content Delivery Is Dead

I continue to think about how lectures are changing in our new connected world. My last blog post primed my thinking and thanks to the comments and a great run yesterday. I have been able to push my own thinking to what it is I was trying to get at and the changes to the lecture that we’re seeing today.  Lectures For Content Delivery Are Dead This is what I am coming to understand. That the lecture use to be the way we delivered content to students. The PowerPoint made this easier on us as it allowed us to make some quick bullet points of what we wanted to cover and then go about “covering the material”. When content is free, open, and accessible to all then we need to rethink what lectures should be used for and delivering content or knowledge is not a good use. Let kids go find the content….what we need to use the lecture for is to inspire them to go learn the content, create understanding, and apply that new knowledge to other areas.  Lectures should be used to inspire, tell stories, and push ideas Before every keynote or lecture I give I start by giving the audience a page like this that allows them to get involved with what I am talking about or to be off task. I constantly tell my audience that if they are going to be off task then here are some links, some ways to be off task. If I can’t hold their attention that’s my fault as a teacher not their fault as a learner. Is that right? We are quick to blame students for not paying attention but to be fair if I’m in a boring lecture I don’t care how old I am I’m not paying attention. Is that my fault as a student or the teacher’s fault? I believe that’s my fault as a teacher. You might disagree but I’ll own it that if my class is boring that’s on me. So what should a lecture be used for if it is not to deliver content? Inspire: I love inspiring lectures. The ones that make you stand up at the end. The ones that make you feel like going out and making a difference, the onces that you can’t wait to share with others, that you retweet, or reshare in some way. They inspire you to take action, to try something...

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The Evolution of the Lecture

The Evolution of the Lecture

In my last blog post a couple days ago I talked about lectures not being a bad thing.  Both Will and I make livings now lecturing to people. Lectures aren’t bad when used properly to motivate, inspire, or push thinking. So the flipped approach is not about replacing the lecture. That quote has been tweeted a bit and it has me thinking about the changes we have seen in lectures and how they do not need to be should not be the sit and get sessions we remember from our time in school. by Tulane Public Relations In fact I think lectures are making a come back in some sense. We all love TED Talks which are nothing more than a lecture. But a lecture with something we all really enjoy….a time limit. 18 minutes is all you get for a TED Talk and because of that time limit it’s an intense 18 minutes. I know when I was giving my TEDx Talk I was watching the clock to make sure I was on time and within the limits as they will cut you off.  Lectures aren’t the problem….Bad lectures are. There is no reason a lecture today should not be interactive and engage the audience in the ideas being talked about. Or fast and engaging to the point where people don’t want to be off task. This is what TED does so well. Will Richardson (I’ll keep picking on him for now) at his ISTE presentation lectured…and it was a great lecture. But what made it even better was that he used Today’s Meet a free chat room for those in the audience to share their ideas. Will did a great job of asking people to get involved, to give him feedback, and then he used the audiences input to change and adapt his talk. Taking time to check the stream, to engage with his audience. That is what a good lecture today should be.  There is absolutely no reason why this can’t be done in a classroom. There are so many ways to engage your audience when giving a lecture that it should be just what we expect from a lecture in today’s digitally connected world.  We also know more about the brain then ever before and know the brain needs processing time, or think time about every 10 minutes. Which is why whenever I’m giving a talk, about every 10 minutes I give the...

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Flipped Learning: Going Beyond the Obvious

Flipped Learning: Going Beyond the Obvious

Will Richardson wrote a blog post over at SmartBlogs that has been rolling around in my brain for a couple of days now and it’s time to put some of these thoughts down and see what you think.  First I’m a big believer in the “Flipped Approach” not because it’s new, it isn’t, not because it’s about lecture…because it isn’t, but because it has educators talking and thinking about new ways of teaching….and that is aways positive.  I do a flipped presentation that is my number one requested presentation at the moment but it’s not your typical flip presentation. I never talk about video, I never talk about “replacing lecture”. I talk about the classroom and what it looks like when content is everywhere.  Will takes, what I think, is a very conservative definition of flipped learning: For the uninitiated, the flipped concept suggests that we can now use technology to offload many of the more mundane classroom tasks — lectures primarily. It’s not hard to see the appeal, with the advent of Khan Academy and easy screencast-recording technology that allows any of us to give a lecture for homework and free up time for in-class problem-solving and discussion. But here’s the thing: flipping is nothing new, and as it stands, most flipping that I see doesn’t flip the most important switch that I’ve been discussing here — moving ownership of learning away from the teacher and more toward the student. Why can’t, what we’ll call a flipped approach, move to include ownership of learning for the students? I have talked about different ways I have worked with teachers in using a flipped approach in their classroom here, here and most recently here. The last example I linked to empowered students to take control of their own learning and write what they felt and learned that in the end got myself, the teacher, and the students in trouble with the government of the country I was in at the time (left out for obvious reasons…but you can figure it out). The teacher was threatened with jail time by the government and was asked to “leave politics out of teaching history”. In the end we had to pull down all blog posts written by students. Empowered learning? You can be the judge. Here’s the thing we need to remember about the “flipped approach” if we think its job is to replace the...

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1 Million Edits, TED-ED, and Hall of Fames

1 Million Edits, TED-ED, and Hall of Fames

It seems like forever since I’ve sat down and blogged…..and yet at the same time it seems I spend all day blogging. Between school, COETAIL, and students I’m spending more time then ever in WordPress.  But tonight I’m closing everything else to reflect on some articles lately that I can’t get out of my head.  Some rights reserved by nojhan Wikipedia has its first 1 million editor. Stop and think about that for a minute. That’s pretty amazing that someone would take the time to sit down and make edits….for free…for others to use. What worries me most is Wikipedia is seeing a decline in the number of editors yet the website is as popular as ever…..and all I can think about is are we creating a generation of takers and not givers? How many teachers have taught the true meaning of giving on the Internet…..or actually given themselves. We all take, I haven’t met a teacher yet that hasn’t gotten a resource from the web, yet very few share and give back. The generation in our schools today are some of the heaviest users of Wikipedia and I hope that we’re challenging them to give back at least some of what they are taking. Wikipedia is a project waiting to be using in every subject I can imagine. There has to be away to use it in our schools.  Many schools, including mine, have expectations that students put in community service hours. I wonder if there is a way to count Wikipedia editing as community service. I’d love to be on that interview: “What community did you support?” “A community of about 1 billion people.”     TED-ED launched their new site recently which has some interesting features and an interesting twist to the flip approach. I need to dig into the site more to see how it all works but from the readings I’ve done and exploring the website it looks be be a pretty useful resource. But teachers will be the ultimate judge of that!  And lastly the Internet officially received its own Hall of Fame. Great to see those who invented this thing be recognized. It has been fun to read through some of their bios. It’s great to see people like Raymond Thomlinson who years ago looked down at his computer keyboard for a symbol that would separate the username from the domain host. He needed a symbol that wasn’t in...

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Flipping History

Flipping History

By Stefan When most people think of the flipped classroom model or reverse instruction, which ever term you like best, they automatically think videos, screencasts, and when you get down to it lecture based instruction.But that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact every time I have helped a teacher flip their classroom in the high school it has never involved videos. Instead it involves students actively finding information, making sense of it, and then coming to class ready to discuss with the teacher what they have learned, what questions they have and, what it is they still don’t know/understand. Currently I am working with a history teacher who came to me with some “really dry historical content” that he needed to cover in his 11th grade Thailand and Southeast Asia history class. We discussed some options and settling on following a similar set-up that I used in a English classroom last year. First we came up with an essential question to focus the students. That essential question will be the summative assessment in some form or another when we finish this unit. The essential question: How does the past influence the present? Next the teacher came up with sub-questions to help the students focus their research and transfer of knowledge. What is the relationship between the ‘modern’ and the ‘traditional’ in this time period? How was the Thai nation conceptualized or interpreted during this time period? That is, how was the notion of ‘Thai-ness’ or what it meant to be ‘Thai’ defined in this time period? Did it change over the course of this time period? If so, how and why? Analyze the evolution of social forces during the time period. For example, what is the relationship between the ‘old’ order and the ‘new’ order during this time period? How did different social forces try to make use of the machinery of the Thai nation-state during this time period in order to control or influence state power? What is the role of Western influence, both direct and indirect, within this time period? What is the Thai response to such influence? by Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel” (Ronn ashore) For this specific unit the students are studying Thailand History (required class for all students in Thailand) from 1932 – Present.Next we listed the skills we wanted students to gain through this unit of study. Become better searchers of...

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