Sunday, October 3, 2010


Dan Meyer has had a huge influence on my life since I first discovered his blog mid-July. So far, thanks to him, I have:

  • Developed the habit of reading 20 other good blogs
  • Started this blog
  • Spent way too much of my free time considering (and, currently, rejecting) the WCYDWT strategy of teaching (of course it's great! but who has the time needed to make it happen?)
  • Experimented with open-ended questions in mathematics
  • Given much more thought to applying for the ph.d. programme next year
This weekend, however, has been devoted to changing an aspect of my teaching to which I had previously given very little thought: my powerpoint presentations. 
First of all, I experimented with powerpoints in math teaching when I was a teacher-in-training. I abandoned it, because it wasn't interactive enough for my tastes. It still isn't, and equations are still a bitch in pptx, and so I still don't use it with my math classes. Instead I use Geogebra occasionally. 

However, I teach psych as well as math, and in psych I use powerpoints all the time. So when on Friday I read these posts I was spurred to reconsider my approach to presentations. A few hours later, I had been further enlightened by presentation zen. And ultimately, I've tried to put some principles into practice with the powerpoint on research ethics for my psych class this Monday. 

And this is the redesigned version:

 Following Dan's lead, I've also given some thoughts to the handouts, which are structured using a Cornell Notes framework. The student edition will have blank lines instead of text.

Now I know, I haven't followed the rules.  I've included tons of pictures (but Dan, this is psych! how else would you do it?) and ignored the consistency rule for colors (but tried to keep it for fonts and sizes). As with most other of Dan's ideas, they get me wondering and thinking and and finally doing something completely different from what he recommends. I love it. 

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