The power of Power Point?

Recently we discussed the use of power points in our teaching and how teaching might look and feel without them. 

Certainly I get the sense that power points are a measure of engagement by students and that having ‘the slides’ in their possession or available to them can mean this is all that is needed to have ‘learned’ the paper’s content for that week. How do we get students to see beyond the slides and consider the real learning that takes place beyond this two- dimensional resource? I guess as a start as educators we need to have the courage to place less value on them so that together we can learn new ways to teach and learn together. 

Ironically after our discussion I went to class. The projector stopped working! For a few minutes there were no power points! A sign of things to come perhaps…?


Reflecting on the potential of Google Hangouts

On April 1st our little group looked at Google Hangouts. I have been a user of Hangouts a few times but have never been the one setting it all up or initiating the connections so I was keen to see how easy this was ( in light of my problem following instructions!). 

One of my current courses is taught online and while we have several asynchronous ways to learn together I am really looking for a tool that will allow ‘real-time’ conversations with and among my students. I think with a bit of a hand I could set Hangouts up and with some practice it shouldn’t take long to get to a level that could convince my students I know what I am doing!

Most semesters I have around 120 online students so I would need to set this up so everyone had fair access to the Hangouts without me spending all day ‘Hanging out’! I think usi Hangouts could potentially cut down on all the individual emails I receive as although I post my email Q&As online for everyone to see, Hangouts would let more people ask their own questions and there would be more potential for the students to learn from one another. 

The irony is that I am so busy dealing with student enquiries etc that I can’t find time to learn more and implement this 😦  


Here’s Thom and I Hanging out- Google style. Great for distance learning- even short distancse like sitting at the same picnic table!