Shelly’s Suggestion

Shelly‘s comment on yesterday’s entry about writing reminded me that essay-writing is one of those things that you have to teach and reteach and revise your reteaching on a regular basis.  (Maybe I needn’t worry, though, as Stephen Downes points out — comparing writing across generations is difficult.) So I made the slide-show below this morning to show in class tomorrow, in order to explain the process again to my students.   All the same, I think I need to help students write better essays…

I think it’s terrible.  Which means I need to ask you, my readers, how you’d revise it.  Please make comments either here, or at the host site over at Any help you give will be much appreciated.

On the other hand, I’m discovering that having daily access to a projector and a wiki is changing how I teach.  I’m giving short talks in class using slide-show presentations, posting those presentations to my account, and embedding them in the wiki.  My students tell me (and the number of views of the slides from the embedded sites) that they’re viewing and re-viewing the useful ones.

It’s data.  I need to revise the slideshows that aren’t watched, so they state more clearly what I’m trying to teach them.  I need to leave the most useful ones alone.  I need to encourage students to comment on the slides about what works for them and what doesn’t, so that I know HOW to revise them.  Astonishing.

What does it mean to live in a world in which your teaching materials are “live” all the time, but you’re only actively ‘teaching’ in a classroom nine months out of the year.  Right now?  Not much.  In a few years, when more and more of my class and homework is online? A lot.  When eventually all prior work by my students is open to

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