Our Wednesday blog posts are a smattering of ideas from a wider variety of sources than we cover on the other days of the week. Sometimes people will distinguish very sharply between ideas “of a religious nature” and others. Through most of the history of Christianity, the Church has held a different opinion. We strive to see all of life through the lens of Christian philosophy. All humans are, in one way or another, teachers. In this series of lectures, Dr. Patrick Allitt explores how useful a variety of illustrations will be in a class.
The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator. Performed by Patrick N. Allitt. U.S.A.: The Teaching Company, 2010. DVD. Lecture 9, “Demonstrations, Old and New.”
In this lecture, Allitt discusses various illustration technologies, including some which are very old, such as showing students an object, as well as some very new technologies, such as use of clickers and classroom polls. Old technology, such as a chalkboard, a whiteboard, or a large piece of paper, can be used by almost any teacher very effectively. Teacher interaction with it is easy and quick, requiring little premeditation. Learning not to speak to the board is a challenge for many teachers. A board is a very helpful way of illustrating work step by step.
Since students tend to remember visual elements, showing an artifact in class is often a very helpful tool. Demonstrating alongside description is a vivid way of making concepts understandable.
The “clicker” is becoming more popular. Students are given a transmitter indicating yes, no, or sometimes some alphabetical characters. The teacher can ask for an answer to a question, take the clicker poll, and identify right and wrong answers as well as opinion and preference questions. In-class software can gather, sort, and analyze the responses. In a large class the teacher can find this a valuable tool.
Distributing information and asking questions via email is a common practice. DS observes that email is not very widely used in 2016, but that it remains popular and helpful in educational institutions. Podcasts for further information are often useful. Allitt views the use of the Internet as positive, though deserving caution because of the lack of consistency in writing and research.
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