Guest Speaker Reflection

One of the misconceptions that surprised me was in the video Dr. Edmondson showed. It was where the student had trouble understanding that gases have weight. I think the hands on activity of showing the student dry ice was a good idea but it didn’t click. I think maybe our experiment we do in front of the students will better show how carbon dioxide has weight, even as a gas.

I think students who don’t get the correct answers at a young age create their own, and those are hard to break them from. Nobody tells you when you’re young that the air weighs something. Or when teachers use metaphors like the plant breathes in CO2, those are hard to change. They are effective, because students really remember them. But then that train of thought is really hard to change later.  Sorry there’s a watermark on this picture, but I thought it fit what I’m talking about here. Wouldn’t it be easier if we taught kids the real reason for things at the start?

I think I will try to demand classroom attention by asking people questions. I don’t want to put people on the spot, but it might force them to be thinking about what I’m talking about. I may resort to asking people directly if I don’t get any volunteers, or if I get the same volunteers over and over again.

Also, in the lesson Dr. Edmondson talked about preparing a cheat sheet, which I think I am going to use. It seems like a good idea for me, so I am not looking at the screen the whole time. I have had to present Pecha Kucha style before (Where 20 slides cycle at 20 seconds each) so I feel pretty comfortable speaking without looking at the slides, but I had flashcards organized for each slide. Also, I am trying not to put too much on the screen, but it is hard, because there is so much information! I watch a lot of TedTalks so hopefully some of that will sink in, but I also found this website that outlines different styles of presentation, and video clips of people presenting (who are really good at it) http://viget.com/inspire/presentation-styles-trends-trendsetters. Watching some of these different videos will hopefully help me understand how to limit what I put on the slide, and how my ideas should flow when I’m talking in front of everyone.

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2 responses to “Guest Speaker Reflection”

  1. mckennast says :

    I agree with you that our experiment is better than the dry ice experiment to show the students that gases have mass and volume. Visually packaging the gas and measuring it gives them concrete evidence that it weighs something even if it is a little bit. I loved the link you put in about all of the different presentation styles. The Pecha Kucha one caught my eye and I think I will try to practice it and utilize it in my presentation. However, it may not be beneficial to stick to this method if the students are having trouble understanding a concept. I would also like the presentation to be very interactive with many questions and repeating important concepts so that we know they are understanding it. The 10/20/30 method was interesting but there is definitely no way we can fit all of this information into only ten slides. Although that would be ideal since many people have a hard time paying attention for very long.

    After learning about different teaching and presentation methods I have been finding myself assessing my professors methods in class. I have one professor who does hands-on activities in the middle of hour long power point presentations where she is the only one speaking and there is a ton of information on each slide. She is obviously getting discouraged because many people fall asleep during these power points or they just get up and leave the class (which I think is incredibly rude). I hope our presentations do not bore the students to death.

  2. carbonconnections says :

    Great point about deconstructing prior knowledge. This can be a major challenge and can often stand in the way of building on said prior knowledge that was not understood correctly in the first place. I do not have a method that hands down works every time to deconstruct prior knowledge, but one of the techniques I have found works well is to let them self discover the errors when possible. I do not think you should worry about putting students on the spot. It is important to engage your audience. The more interactive you can make your presentations, the more ideas are shared, and this in turn will create a more positive learning environment!

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