This is the first module for my Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and although I have another day to go for the classroom learning element I can honestly say it is well worth doing if you want to be a good teacher in a higher education environment – which I most certainly do!
Today we all had our microteaching sessions and I will admit that I was ridiculously nervous about receiving my feedback as this is basically the second time I’ve ever had another lecturer present during my delivery (that I don’t also think of as a friend – friends tend to be less critical than others in your peer group) and there were 8 of them at once!
I sat through the morning with my stomach knotting increasingly tighter as each of the other members in my group delivered interesting and in 2 specific cases seemingly flawless 5 minute ‘lectures'(one of whom I really need to pinch the slides and microteach video off if he’ll let me have ’em) nearly everyone else in the group seemed to be brand new to teaching and in some cases never before having taught in a classroom environment. This knowledge just made me feel, if I’m honest, a little more sick; I’ve been doing this for a year now – what if they (very nicely) told me I suck? Eventually everyone else had faced their own personal ordeal and I finally had to get up and face mine.
Now, normally when I teach a class I’m not this nervous but there is just something about demonstrating knowledge or a skill in front of other practitioners that throws me into kinks and I guess I’m not alone in this feeling – but surprisingly, looking back at the video you can’t seem to tell. I look (even to me) fairly professional and ‘together’ so I guess the flipcam can’t pick up shaking hands if you keep ’em moving.
The most negative thing said during the feedback session was that I need to smile more (and it was a unanimous response so maybe my nerves were showing a little after all…) I guess I should be grateful about that but I know the geek in me was shuddering at the loose explanation given of internet technology; normally I do take more than 5 minutes over this and touch upon DNS and the fact that www is NOT the internet but a service like VOIP, file transfer and email which runs ON the internet using TCP/IP and that Tesco actually use TIE which is their EDI equivalent along with an explanation of how that works… But 5 minutes is not a lot of time and I did go over by about 25 seconds so I guess what I’m saying is that no matter how positive people are towards me I’m never truly happy with anything I do *sigh* guess THAT is what I really need to work on…
On the plus side almost every person in the room said they liked my house/ garden analogy to explain how an intranet is extended into an extranet so this is definitely one explanation to keep using. I also hadn’t realised how often I sum up as a way of reinforcing the points I make – it’s just something I now do naturally; seems motherhood is good training for becoming a lecturer because it was pointed out just this weekend how often I do this with elf.
The main things that I’ve taken away from this experience (outside of the knowledge that mutated proteins get sticky then bond together and cause disease or that gold is created at the heart of a supernova) are that I can boil down many of the core concepts I have to teach into 5-10 minute sessions like this and use them to break up my 3 hour classroom sessions. On a lighter note I’ve also learned that I badly want one of the document display OHP ‘thingummys’; being able to draw what I mean on a piece of paper where everyone can see it clearly on the smartboard instead of having to clamber on and off a chair to make full use of a white board in class would be awesome! I hate being short…
While trying to settle on a topic for this microteach I also thought of numerous ways of applying this technique to virtual sessions with videos and prezi presentations (as a kind of information treasure hunt) for 2 different modules and I know that it will make for a very interesting and informative class task to do with my students in another module; the constraints of the task itself made me look at my subjects in a slightly different way so I am completely sold on this as a method of teaching and peer review.
Principles and applications of web Services (technology): A3
Digital Entertainment Systems: A1
Web Application development (design): A3
Professional Issues in computing: A3
You see those grades? they’re mine they are *grin* ok, ok so what if it took me an entire academic year to do it!
..Considering I’ve had 75 days of it (that’s right, just over 2 months) bedridden by fatigue (and that’s not counting any crashes prior to the diary count starting mid January else it’d probably be at least 3 or 4 months lost because I had to defer the above modules due to an uncounted relapse in November that lasted right through December)
..and god knows how many other days of productivity I’ve lost to the joys of brain fog (I’m never mentally aware enough on those days to think of keeping count!)
To be honest I’d say I did really bloody well.
Lets put it this way – I’m on track for a first class honours in my specialist degree subject so it’s worth the blood sweat and tears of studying with ME/CFS (and a toddler)
As Chris said on my Facebook page: Vicky rocks!
So, what now you ask? Well, on top of actually being a mum again instead of a snappy, stressed out work beast;
- I’m re-designing and updating several websites (mine and other peoples)
- updating and improving my knowledge of wordpress for this very reason (so a fair bit of reading)
- researching and organising ideas for my final year project (which funnily enough involves the need to understand wordpress VERY well)
- creating several ‘how to’ videos for the ESCAPE project at uni using Camtasia.
- making time to re-read my notes and try to keep what I learned to get those A grades fresh in my mind (important to do when you have CFS memory to contend with)
I know, you’d think I’d kick back and relax wouldn’t you – but I really don’t dare to. One thing I learned this year is that I can pace, but I can’t stop; If I stop I lose any headway I’ve made.
So, gotta keep the momentum going (without over doing it) because I REALLY, really want to be able to get a job at the end of all this.
Oh.. and for those of you interested, here’s the video part of the DES assignment that netted me the top mark:
I promised my twitter followers a beading post a while back, and since getting the flip I’ve been promising a video blog so.. Ta-dah! 2 birds, one badly filmed stone *grin*
..I am Soooo not a v-logger, much to learn have I, most definitely.
I know: the file size is kinda huge, I could really do with practising filming close ups as the link was too blurry (hence the following picture for clarity) and I need to remember not to open bags next to the in-built mic when I’m talking. and next time no mirror! lol that’s a definite lesson learned.
So, to show you what the finished article actually looks like if you follow the muddy instructions from the video..
I use wire that is .71mm (in American I think that’s gauge 21) and generally purchased from The Scientific Wire Company (online of course) it’s plated copper as opposed to actual gold or silver because i’m too skint and it’s only a hobby so buying expensive materials are a no no – another reason I don’t sell my stuff, It’s cheap material so I fully expect it to break – if I give it as a gift, the person knows me and I can fix it any time they want me to.
For links the size of the one dangling from the pendant use an inch and a half of wire, it’s the shortest amount that works with this gauge wire for pretty links I’ve found – anything above that, experiment to your hearts content
If you like the idea then use it freely, I’m sure I’m not the only person to use this technique despite discovering it for myself.
It’s amazing what you can make from a few beads some wire and a couple of pairs of pliers!
I’ve just recently added another plugin to this blog because I want to start adding video content (without uploading to youtube first) I know I’m a tad late coming to the v-log sphere but better late than never eh?!
Why now? you may ask, well, I have a new toy.
Not the new toy that Stef recieved for his birthday, but the new toy I received from the university a couple of days ago.
That’s right – from Uni! Free, gratis and for NOWT *massive grin*
..OK so at some point I may have to give it back but for at least the next 4 months it’s MINE!
I’m to use it for the collation of interviews and meetings/ classes relating to the CABLE project of which I am the student steering group leader, some of which may find their way into the BLU presentation in a few months time.
So obviously I’ve had to play with it, get a feel and plan out what I intend to film – right?
Which is why I have a ton of footage like this of our 5 month old smiler ;0p
Now all I need to tweak are the compression settings and I’m up ‘n’ running! Web 3.0 here I come..