Monday, January 28, 2013

A thought process

So here’s a thought process I had a few months ago. It’s a trail, but just follow me.

I was reading an old edition of Edutopia’s Summer Rejuvenation Guide and the guide contained a try something new section which discussed Pecha Kucha nights:

Pecha Kucha is the onomatopoeic Japanese word for the sound of conversation. The equivalent English term is chit-chat. However, it tends to carry a slightly negative connotation like chitter-chatter or a frivolous exchange of words. (From Wikipedia).
According to Edutopia, Pecha Kucha is a fast paced speaking format in which speakers have only a few minutes and a few slides to make a point. Interesting, right? The article also mentioned Ignite, a competitive version of Pecha Kucha, with events all over the world. Ignite’s tagline is “enlighten us, but make it quick.” 

My brain is now fully engaged so I follow the links to watch a few streamed videos at Ignite Show.*

Warning: these will suck you in completely. With titles such as “Commutapult”, “How to Fight Dirty in Scrabble” and “The Secret History of Fonts”, it’s easy to waste lots of time. I learned about “Botanicalls”, an iPhone app that tells you when to water your plants, and what physical computing really is, and why they are teaching ethics using social media in Australia, and how to get the best deal on a new car ……. I said they would suck you in.

In all seriousness, these videos feature people talking about what they’re passionate about. They are pointed, opinionated, funny, short, and I’m learning the whole time.

My brain immediately jumps to how I see real-life classroom application. I’m thinking my colleagues would be wicked good at this. Can we craft a few genetics/genomics lessons that take advantage of available media and a YouTube attention span?

*Ignite is not an educational website. Not all content is appropriate for the classroom.

Madelene Loftin works as an education specialist
at HudsonAlpha. She was named Mississippi's
Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year in 2008.
Since joining HudsonAlpha, she's been inspiring
Alabama students to pursue careers in science while
inspiring science teachers to be better educators.