DIY Lecture Performance29 Sep 2019
The digital classroom transforms some part of teaching – classroom management will, nevertheless, be integral also in the future. This text introduces you to a performance lecture that I gave to a heterogenous group (including several teachers) of alumni of a scholarship foundation in summer 2019. Hopefully, the description is sufficient for you to replicate it. Broadly, the lecture culminates in three situations that last less than a minute each. When greeting the participants you can be transparent about this. It is important, however, to clearly have your participants in a role of learners. This naturally arises if you use a beamer and hand out QR codes to participants.
The structure of the rest of this text is as follows: I start with the first part on trusted learning analytics and the validity of data, then continue with the part on cyber mobbing and continue with the final on power over data.
The lecture performance is manipulative to its participants, therefore count in enough time to reflect on what happened. In particular, I did not try this with students. The effects, but also the risks, are much larger with such a group.
Information and Data Overflow
Start by introducing 2 tools at the same time: First, let an open-ended activity run in an audience participation tool of your choice (like PollEv and AnswerGarden) on your beamer. Introduce it as a Q&A tool and give participants merely sufficient time to log in with their smartphone. Then introduce the Plickers mechanism and let them do a quiz (whose contents is not too important, I took guessing questions on media usage by teenagers in Germany). Show the participants the scoresheet and ask the audience how they would act having this diagnosis. With only a little guidance, the audience will arrive at the point that this quiz is not representative of knowledge, because persons neither were motivated nor prepared for a formal assessment.
After the first moment of complete data, a second moment arises.
For this, the “Q&A system” is important. Ensure that it is not moderated. As you did not give the audience enough time, there will not be many questions in the tool. Let a person (or a script) post more and more drastic insults against you (the performer) while still being in the discussion on information overflow. Your audience should after a few moments stop you. Continue your moderation until all concentration is gone and then consider the Q&A system. The discussion thereafter optimally will lead to the principle of minimising distractions in the classroom, that technology can only to a certain extent counter mobbing. Even better, the audience will become insecure: “Who in this room did this?”. If you happen to use a script that brings in the insults, when revealing the truth at the end of the performance, the answer is even more astounding to your participants.
As soon as this discussion gets a bit slower-paced, continue with the last part.
In this part, introduce a tool you have complete control of such as an Etherpad hosted on webspace you control. Let the participants collaboratively fill what they took from this performance. At this point, people might be relieved. Give groups some time to capture their thoughts. Short before the time runs out and groups present their results, use the Etherpad API to change their text and let people talk in the Etherpad chat. Ensure in your setup of the Etherpad that there is no possibility to return to prior versions. Finally, delete the Etherpads.
This last part should bring on questions of ownership and availability to the arena and opens the space for questions. I was quite open, and the discussion, that an assistant graphically recorded, turned out fruitful.