August 18, 2010

In the Live event Expert ways of seeing: Transforming novices through visual learning, we learned of a new way that Bruce Kirchoff is proposing of teaching Mathematics. He likens the teaching of math to ways that his students learn to identify plants. He suggests a holistic approach that focuses on the visual identification of mathematical ideas. He feels that repetition is the key and he stresses little focus on traditional keys in his students learning. Kirchoff promotes working at a mastery level so that students can learn to identify the basics necessary while focusing on the bigger picture. This harkens back to the piece we watched by Dan Meyer earlier in the course.
I thought Mr. Kirchoff’s presentation was excellent. He was by far the most prepared and well versed speaker I have seen at a live event this summer. His ideas were made very clearly and I truly wished he had cut the question/ discussion sections shorter and gotten to more of the prepared content.


One comment

  1. It was a fascinating event. I am thinking about the last point you make, Peter, about Q&A vs. the prepared content. The goal of the event series is to promote collaboration. I do not know if conversations “then and there” promote it better, or addressing more points in more depth promotes it better. The answer is, most likely, “It depends.”

    However, most people can’t pay highly focused attention to oral presentations for longer than 5-7 minutes. People who are successful lecture listeners take microbreaks, switch from listening to note-taking, and otherwise manage their own attention within longer captivating stories. Most TED lectures are under 10 minutes. Most YouTube videos are around 5 minutes. PechaKucha presentations are 400 seconds (20 slides, 20 seconds each). These seem to be the lengths of presentations large groups gravitate to, naturally, when they can choose their rhythms.

    Dani Novak, who will be leading the GeoGebra-NA Network Series of events this Fall, proposed an NPR-like format where people prepare media pieces ahead of time, with shorter ones incorporated into the live event (for a more prepared feel, I may add) and longer ones available online. This may capture the best of both worlds.

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