I do lecture in class. (Read on when you’re done moaning. I’m not addicted to lecturing. I can stop any time I want…)
Although I have used slides many times, I do not appreciate the linearity of a slideshow. In addition to reminding me of film strips from the 1960s, slideshows force a particular order. Either that or you have to find the slide. If I’m talking about slide 2, and a student asks a question about something that will come up on slide 13, I want to bring up slide 13. Now. Not after paging through 11 slides or zooming out or changing to creator mode to find the damn thing.
Over the years, I’ve tried a few things other than slideshows. Prezi is OK, but it takes a while to create, and I can’t use a path or it messes up the whole idea. So I have to zoom out in between slides to see where I am. I like cooliris, but it requires a process where you either run it locally with local slides (that I have to carry on a thumb drive or load into a location accessible from my classroom computer) or be able to code it into your site, which is a bitch.
Last night I was playing with Pinterest as a possible way to store artworks or have students post primary sources (I am always seeking a step away from the LMS). This morning I decided to try it with my Roman Empire lecture.
The first issue was that it puts your images in by reverse order, so I had to load them all, then open a new Pinterest board, then repin them all to get the right order. No big deal, although it does imply a necessary order. But that’s OK – it’s still not a list – I can see about a dozen items without scrolling. Unfortunately, some of them came in duplicated. And when I brought up an image during my lecture, two things happened.
The first was that it didn’t fill the screen (unlike Prezi or cooliris, which open images to full screen automatically).
The second was when I was done with the slide, I had to click to get back to the board – I couldn’t just close it.
The image quality was not as good as it should have been, even when I linked to larger res images, but it was OK.
So today’s experiment was pretty much a fail. But the historian who follows me in the same classroom, Josh Lieser, pointed out that the students must like it that I do all these experiments. I hope so.