Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Trying Something New - Pecha Kucha...Modeling The Genre I Expect (Eeks). Fun, But Tricky

A few years ago, I read about Pecha Kucha and helped my mentor, Kelly Chandler-Olcott, create a talk using the presentation format for LRA. I was intrigued by the genre: 20 slides, 20 seconds each, and thought I'd use them somehow, someday.

Fast forward. I'm teaching a service learning course in schools so my instructional time is limited. The real experience for students is hands on and I guide their learning. Alas, it is also to cover philosophical foundations. I knew for the midterm, I wanted them to help cover course material by doing mini-presentations. I thought the Pecha-Kucha might be a neat innovation.

I watched a few how-to's online and then set out to create 20 frames of talk. I didn't make it to 6 minutes but I talked really fast. Also, I was recording on my phone and Glamis was trying to crawl on my face. I was using one hand to record and another to hold her off. Towards the end, when I flub up a lot, it is because the dog was attacking me BIG TIME.

I am interested in this genre as a managerial piece, thinking I might be able to do a Pecha Kucha after each visit at the school. This way I can make connections with course readings and the experiences they're having working with middle school youth. I also wanted to try one so that I could discuss my writing processes/creative processes with students - to make it transparent. I now have one model to teach (and hopefully to ease the stress).

The creation was done on my iPhone, and I chose to do that to make it easier and non-threatening to the students. There are instruction for Powerpoint and/or Keynote, should students want to choose that. I did a pre-recording just to see how it would go, but the live ones are with flashcards and rehearsal, using expression and eye contact to move an audience. I want to try one of those, but in truth, this is like "every class." I always use visuals to help me craft the story of instruction every time we meet.

In the meantime, however, I'm trying something new. If there is a snow day tomorrow, I now have a backup plan. I doubt the University will close so if we're not in schools, I'll be on campus.

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