Black(board) to basics

After going though iterations of PowerPoint, Keynote, LaTex Beamer and other modes of discussing my class, I have tired of them all. And the horrifying realization that research out there exists demonstrating low learning outcomes from SlideShow warrior classsrooms added to my misery (1,2). So to reinvent myself, I first went to Italy and then to Bangalore. Okay, this is a bit of joke. But the time spent at the Abdus Salam Institute of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy at the Hands on School was meant to refresh my memory of how to use low-cost interactive teaching methods in the classroom, with a focus on complex systems and biophysics. At any rate, that combined with a surprise invitation to a fabulous series of lectures by William Bialek from Princeton university at ICTS, Bangalore did provide that last spurt. So now I only need some equipment. Turns out the Teaching Apparatus Listserv (TApL) has some hints there (3). So next semester, its teaching with fewer ‘crutches’, i.e. (mostly) sans ordinateur.


1) Parker, Ian (2001) Absolute PowerPoint

2) Young, Jeffrey (2009) When computers leave the classroom, so does boredom. The Chronicle of Higher Education

3) Michael Thomason on the Teaching Apparatus Listserv

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