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Getting there


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Thursday, Day 3: Research Day in Computer Room

Chatting to colleague i got into class with five minutes odd to spare, and handed out attendance slips, blue for on time, and green for latecomers.

After the chime I asked all student to go to the merriam webster site and try out the pronunciation tool, and also the thesaurus. Amazing how many had not ever been, in spite of my mentioning it and having the site on the vocabulary sheet...I didn't get actual numbers, but it seemed to me at least eighty percent were there for the first time.

Then I called for attention and asked for students to bear with me on the attire issue, stating that we had agreed to respect each other in class, and during a presentation that was one way of showing that respect. Also asked students to think about the difference in two young corporate raiders, one in a t-shirt less successful in pulling off his ventures compared to the other in a suit, and that matching the business climate signalled you were willing to go some way to meet people's opinons. Then I finished off with saying that instead of wearing suits for the first time in a threatening interview situation, it was good to wear it for the team presentation, and carry that experience, comfort and confident memories into the interview. I offered to bring some of hub's old ties in case some people didn't have one. (I'll be doing a corporate raid on his tie closet this week!)

Then I said k, go for it, research your presentations. And began circling groups, starting off with giving two newcomer students a drubbing for doing zilch preparation for class, and threatening to fail them, since this is the third week I detect zero effort. One other key group member was absent, too, so that left a hole in their main up-to-date example...I prompted things into vocab sheets and powerpoints and getting a definition reworked, and was pleased the group were the first to load a file in the yahoo group on Thursday.

Wandered round other groups, spending rather larger chunks, they were all sitting naturally in rows, these wise kids, and i moved between the group members supporting how to google from Yahoo US to get different hits from Yahoo Japan, how to switch into English wikipedia and skip from links there, how it was ok to copy and paste for definitions if you quote the source, and how to simplify the language to make it easier for listeners. We played with finding the word for the Chinese currency in English, the yuan, moving from googling Chinese yen, and looked at what you need on the front of the ppt. Noticed a group making quiz format ppts, and another humorous front page ppt pages. Wow!

Some teams seemed to not know how to delegate jobs yet, kind of having a working core and a peripheral hangers on, but i'm thinking by the time the course is over, they'll have a clearer idea how to get down to things with less effort /hesitation. One student has agreed to lend their puter, and I have ordered a projector for the eight presentation days in the office (did that Tuesday morning), so roll on next week!