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Lectures as Homework



Thanks Campus Technology for your graphic.

So flipping a classroom. Is that anything like flipping a pancake?

What if you could have your teacher’s lecture in your ear while you were sitting on the bus going home? No distractions, just the clear omni present Mrs. Vick’s monotone blasted right into the center of the brain in hopes that indeed it will leave some sort of imprint there. It gives a whole new meaning to the BLAH BLAH BLAH of Charlie Brown’s teacher.

I think I would have to take a story telling class and begin to model Mr. Watson, the all time best story telling History teacher there ever was. Of course back in those days you couldn’t get him out of your ear either since he’d just pick up and come right along with you to the grocery store or whereever you happen to be going. He’d keep kids at lunch for detention and just continue his lecture. When other kids would wonder where you had been, all you’d have to say is, “I got Watsoned?”   Do I really want to become like either of those models of teachers?  Yikes!

So..as I embark on trying podcasts for my adult students from all over Alaska, I noticed right away that conversational is not what I want to be. Of course I noticed that AFTER I uploaded two. My thought was that I want to sound conversational—like I’m hanging out around the coffee pot talking like I naturally do. Well…it didn’t work out. I say SO too many times and ah…. like I’m at the doctors getting that blasted wooden stick stuck down my throat. No, after this trial, I want to be scripted. My fear of being scripted is that it will be too dull! Oh why can’t I have a voice like Crista Tippet from my favorite podcast? I will have to put on my best dramatic interpretation of literature voice and read as if I were trying to keep old folks in the nursing home awake! It could be quite fun.

I’m betting on my extra cool intro and exit music with the help of Garage Band to add  a somewhat professional feel. I think I’ll get better at it as I go. Garage Band may be the Sears Catalog of its day. Once the Sears Catalog came out, you couldn’t tell immigrants from the non-immigrants: they all dressed the same. With Garage Band, anyone can be a professional if they have enough patience. Information is being gathered and sent around the globe so fast and with the help of Garage Band, people are listening to all sorts of voices.  They might even want to listen to mine!

Here’s my first attempt at my first lecture:  


Here’s the second part of the same lecture.  


I am really quite concerned that my audience will decide to take a nap while they should be listening to me. In the classroom, I can notice those things. But since learning via distance ed has become easy, I, over the last several years, have often dozed on the couch while taking a distance delivery course beamed to me live across the interwebs. It is truly a deadly way to take a course. If I can be entertaining and if rural folks can download them, podcasts might be an good way to teach in rural Alaska. A lot of my students still are working with dial up speeds. They can’t look at You Tube unless it’s after midnight.

Here is my last attempt.  This time I’m READING my lecture.  Hmmmm.  Maybe I DO like it better as an informal talk.  I’m still not sure how it would be best.  What do you think?  

So watch for me on iTunes. This may become a regular hangout for me. I only hope my students will tell me if I’m too boring or going too fast.


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