Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hypertext lecture

I have been meaning to blog about this for ages but simply haven't gotten around to it. I think that I can call the lecture I gave (on the hypertexts that my year 11's created) a success due to the positive feedback I received, although looking back on it there's plenty I would change 'next time'. I had, as is typical of me, come prepared with far too much material that I wanted to talk about, and didn't have enough time to do most of it justice. I thought that the narrative I was trying to tell was worth sharing, though. And I want to keep experimenting with my presenting style. Small steps...
It was interesting to chat with some of the pre-service teachers afterwards who asked a range of questions, and not just about the content of my presentation. I was a little thrown by the number of questions that I got asked about technology- how I had learnt to do that... whether schools expected you to know how to do that.... what should I do to prepare for using technology with students next year...
It surprised me because when I was planning the lecture (and the task with my students) I wasn't really thinking about the 'technology aspect' at all. I was preoccupied with notions of 'writing' and challenging some students' (and teachers') somewhat entrenched notions of what 'writing in classrooms' is. Trying out some things with hypertext was just the way that I chose to do this- on this particular occasion.
After doing my best to reassure these pre-service teachers that their careers would not be in jeopardy if they didn't know how to insert a hyperlink, I wondered what I would have changed about my presentation to address their concerns. What additional 'background' should I have provided? Should I have begun with a brief lesson on 'how to' insert hyperlinks? A 'practical' lecture on elements of hypertext design? An explanation of what they can expect when they get out into schools and are required to use technology in the classroom?
Well, I have come to the conclusion that all of these options would have been fairly useless, if not a complete waste of time. A lecture on 'how to create a hypertext' would probably be about as useful (useless) as a lecture on 'how to blog' and who knows what these pre-service teachers will come across when they leave Monash and arrive at their remarkably different school environments and contexts? I wanted to give an insight into how I reflect on my teaching practices, and I think I did that. This was the most valuable skill that I took away from my dip Ed, anyway.
I find myself continuing to muse over the differences in a lecture that I gave to English method students at the beginning of 2005, and the one I gave recently. It's interesting to see how my perspectives on what I'm doing in my classroom (and profession) have shifted in some ways and developed in others (at least, I think they have). It feels good to be able to come to this conclusion.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Aurora (Northern Lights)

I thought I'd try posting a video...