Good day, Gentle Readers:
I am old-school: I write with a fountain pen, I tie a bow tie, I listen to records, my car has manual transmission1, I shoot film . . .
But I’m not a dinosaur.
My house has electricity and a flush toilet. I use word-processing2, spreadsheets, molecular modeling software3, and the like. After a protracted battle with our IT man almost 20 years ago, I came to embrace PowerPoint. I have produced approximately 100 such lessons on just about every topic in 11 and AP Chemistry. While I use these in-class, I write ‘em for home use, with color-coding to make a fashion designer blush, animations, diagrams and photos—and plenty of concept-repetition to ensure that different types of learners will understand.
Last week, for reasons that are above my pay grade, the Chem Lab’s Wi-Fi went awry. I was forced to resort to a Socratic lesson—a “chalk talk”4—in the parlance of my youth. As far as I could tell, things went well. My AP students, many of whom were the product of my 11 Chemistry, were engaged; they asked questions; we got the work done.
In the dénouement of the class, several students—unprompted—commented on how they preferred the old-school lesson, with the PPT left for at-home use. Out of curiosity, I taught my other two sections the same way, with identical responses.
May peace be with you.
- pardon the pun, but my wife gives me the gears for buying this car
- I call it typing . . .
- I use ODYSSEY Molecular Explorer 6.0 Instructor Edition for classroom use on a data projector. This is worth every penny—especially when the school pays for it.
- on a white board, mind you