Kill the Powerpoint: Exploring Teaching Moments Via Impromptu Chalk Talks
Tuesday, August 11, 2015: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
Peale C, Hilton
Dane C. Ward, Drexel University
Kevin P.W. Smith, Drexel University; and
Ryan R. Rebozo, Drexel University
As both ecologists and educators, we often find ourselves in informal educational settings. While as professionals we have come to rely on delivering well-crafted PowerPoint talks, there still remains a need for more dynamic delivery of content. Classic examples of impromptu scientific discussion include Wilson and MacArthur’s “bar napkin” idea of island biogeography, teaching and discussion of incidental student discoveries in the field, and in-classroom technological failures. These teaching opportunities create an atmosphere of spontaneous discussion and deviations from rigid adherence to conventional PowerPoint presentations. Although we sometimes need a “sage on the stage”, these methods encourage the “guide on the side”.
The session will begin with a brief presentation on the variety of alternate teaching methods, including chalk talks, anecdotal lessons, and "bar napkin" idea maps. After this, we will break into smaller groups and practice multiple methods of conveying ideas. Everyone will practice alternative presentation types in small groups; a select subset of volunteers will demonstrate different methods for engaging audiences during "teachable" moments. Participants will then offer constructive criticism for both content and presentation style, beginning with highly positive comments and then making suggestions.