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Summer Rewind

June 28, 2009

We just finished the first summer term and the next one begins on Wednesday.  I reserved the television studio on campus for our final presentations to give the students a little something different. 

After reserving it, the coordinator bumped into me at the grocery store and told me he was being laid off.  Our presentations were the last use of the television studio on campus.  I have no idea what will come next there.  The coordinator is hoping to land a job with the campus planetarium.  I hope he does too.  37 years of work with the college and now he is looking for a job.  He has a son in middle school or early high school. 

My students asked me if they had to use PowerPoint for their final presentations.  I told them I don’t require it.  They all used PowerPoint in their presentations, and none of the PowerPoint presentations were bad though some were mediocre.  However, from what people tell me, their mediocre presentations may be better than the presentations they will get from some of the their professors.  Some of their PowerPoint shows were very good and showed a lot of thought, creativity, and time spent getting the right image or look.  Now, I don’t teach them how to use PowerPoint.  I offer to if they want to come to our lab, but I rarely have someone come. 

I am teaching the same course for the second term, and the department I check out the camera from may be trying out a new longer term sign out for the video camera.  I am thinking of requiring a video project that they would make during the summer.  The only guideline I can think of is that it show all members substantially in the final product.  My thinking is that they will have to use a lot of English in putting it together.  I think they can figure out MovieMaker fairly easily.  I don’t know if I have the guts to let them go or the idea of what kind of guidance to give them.  Also, I will have to look at the language make up of the class because if it is not possible to form groups with at least one person from a different language group, it won’t work as a English usage project.

Recording their videos has lost some of its effectiveness because I have no place on line to post them.  They don’t want them on YouTube and the college won’t let me use the space on the server that I used to be able to use.  I am back to making DVDs and only a few people get to see themselves. 

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