creative commons licensed image from joe_x

A mopey audio reflection following my second in person class of ds106, from two weeks ago. Seven minutes and forty six seconds of blah.

Recorded walking home after a class that just did not flow well at all. I did not feel in best game form, the students seemed bored, and they had not done reading of the papers and video for tonight’s discussion. I felt like I was dying a slow death on stage, but also I had not really designed the class well. I had hoped to draw them into discussion.

What worked was the ending 15 minute “Rapid Prototyping” activity I saw Jim do the night before in his class, where he challenged the students to create some web stories with whatever they could, about our hacker, Emre5807. And that totally has the energy. I collected them in a pinterest board – its not about being anything great, but just being in that creation mindset.

Coming up the next week is photography, a topic I feel much more confident handling. I need less of me talking, and I expect to have external guests.

My question is how to raise level of participation, and what is my shtick in class? I am needing to develop my own show.

What was a bit better was working one on one after class with student, helping her add plugins, themes, widgets to her blog.

This is done, and time to get back on horse for monday.

Post Script: Better classes were to come!

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I hear you, Alan. It’s an awful, awful feeling when a class falls flat.

    Some things to do:
    -ask the students about it. Students usually are happy to talk about education. “How come this isn’t working?” “Were you expecting something different?”
    -have them write. Something short, like a one-minute assignment. This is good for getting thoughts flowing. Then you can read them afterwards and get insights into what they are thinking.
    -break ’em into groups and assign them tasks. If they’re quiet en masse, they’re more likely to talk in small groups. Then have ’em report back.

  2. As someone who is prone to lapse into “performance,” finding the line between initial engagement — which is helped by performance — and a more grounded presence as a teacher and co-learner is really important to me.

    In the past, some have said that I “take up too much space” so I’ve been working at stepping back a bit more.

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