Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chapter 9--They Snooze, You Lose_Synopsis

Chapter 9

Tapping to Emotions

According to the author, Dr. Burmark, emotions stick. She mentions that according to Seth-Godin presentations are about "the transfer of emotion". In an example of a research project involving the Save the Children foundation, participant responded better to emotions than they did to hard facts. She presents the case of Dave Carroll's whose guitar was destroyed but not repaid for by United Airlines. Dave tried the traditional methods of writing letters to the company to no avail. His next approach was to come up with a funny song and put a video of it on Youtube in which he expressed his frustration; it worked as United Airlines changed its stance on the issue and paid attention to Dave's demands. The author cites this story to point out that we as presenters need to remember that citing statics and facts is not always the best approach. She then follows by stating the somewhat obvious that children from violent households have more academic difficulties than those without them. She recommends activities in which you as the teacher, encourage students to come up with images that represent emotions; she confesses that for her love was the image of a flower with dewdrops. She finishes her chapter by reminding us the readers that emotions stick and that this should not only be considered when selecting the words used in a presentation but also, or perhaps more importantly, the music and images that we choose, recommending in the process to surround ourselves with positive, healing words so that our audiences can take with them.

Chapter 8--They Snooze, You Lose_Synopsis

Chapter 8

Playing Music

Chapter 8 is an argument to the many benefits of incorporating music to your presentations. Images and music just work well together according to Dr. Burmark, which cites for instance that all successful movies and tv shows incorporate music. This is so because according to professor Norman Weinberger "[music is necessary] to supply the actual emotional states and feelings [the audience needs] to identify with [the action] and the characters involved." According to the author one of the many benefits of music is that it rarely "elicits a push-back response", unlike for instance a laugh-track in a sitcom. According to the Dr. Burmark, her music changes with her presentations to match their content, and for this reason she really has no theme song for her persona. She also warns about the power of music recommending it to use it wisely and not too rely so heavily on it that the content of your story actually depreciates. Interestingly the author points out that researchers have found that music is not only identified correctly with a particular mood or emotion, but that subjects of these studies have reacted physiologically according to the music's mood. All of this is presented to argue about selecting "positive music"; to select music intentionally. After devoting a good part of this chapter to the emotional effects that music can have (whether positive or negative), the author then continues to talk about the possible effects that music can have in improving test scores. On the subject she states that the following 3 components must happen in order for music to have a positive impact: 1) the music played while taking a test must be the same that was played when the learning happened; 2) the tempo must be the same; 3) it is beneficial if the music mood matches the topic learned.
Dr. Burmark finishes the chapter by reminding us readers that the music doesn't always have to come from us instructors/presenters. She recommends giving students opportunities to share their music collections when appropriate and evaluating their learning through musical means, such as singing about a chapter they read, for instance. And finally, she asks us readers to keep an eye for those individuals with atypical high interest and talents in music.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Copyright Crash Course v4

Chapter 6--They Snooze, You Lose_Synopsis

Chapter 6

Harnessing humor

This chapter highlights the importance of humor to deliver our content as either educational presenters or educators. Effective humor can be achieved, according to the author, by the following: recognizing and promoting neoteny in one's self, having an element of surprise in our delivery of humor, historical perspective (as in "someday you will think this is funny"). Dr. Burmark then continues to define humor into 3 components that she describes as Wit, Mirth, and Laughter. Wit is defined as the cognitive component; the one that "gets it". Mirth, in turn, is defined as the emotional response to humor; how it uplifts our spirits and allow us to forget our negative feelings. Laughter is simply the physical response to humor; it like dancing to music. But for humor to be effective in delivering content (the ultimate goal of educators) two things must happen. First, you as a presenter need to get you audience's attention. Second, you need to connect your humor to your content. Dr. Burmark remarks that one must know as a presenter that our main job is to deliver content. She then proceeds encouraging the reader to keep an open eye and capture humorous images to be used later in presentations. She continues by reminding the reader that many image sites, such as Flickr, also have video libraries. She finishes her chapter by absolutely endorsing humor as a way for content "to stick".
This was a fairly simple chapter with less content than the previous chapter. I guess that was her way of following chapter 5 which had much more content. I happen to agree with almost everything that Dr. Burmark states. To me it is self-evident, but I like the fact that she highlights the importance of adhering content to humor

Chapter 5--They Snooze, You Lose_Synopsis

Chapter 5

Making Connections

This chapter makes a case for the necessity to teach concretes as a

foundation for more abstract. According to the author, Dr. Burmark, it is

extremely important for the presenter to establish the context for the rest

rest of the presentation, so that the audience has an idea of what to expect.

The chapter then proceeds into underlining the importance of building on your

audience's prior knowledge.The author then recommends exercises like

"what do these clouds look like" when time is not as limited, or humor with

recall and provides examples to illustrate. She cites John Medina stating

that the brain wants to know "where have I seen this before?" Dr. Burmark

continues by making an interesting remark stating that the negative word

"prejudice" shouldn't be negative all of the time; stating that it is only through

prejudging that we are able to evaluate into predetermined categories the

enormous amount of information that our senses bring to us. Dr. Burmark

follows by introducing the concept of 10:2 in which after 10 minutes of

class or presentation, the presenter allows for 2 minutes of peer

discussion what has just been learned. This she states is consistent with

John Medina's findings that the brain tune out after 10 continuous

minutes of listening. She highly recommend doing this for both

presenters and educators alike. The chapter follows with a case

supporting knowing and calling each student with by his first name. This

she states fosters a climate of belonging. She uses this topic to present

the web-based tool Wordle which arranges words into attractive posters

out of plain lists. The chapter continues by stating the importance of

proximity with your audience; getting them close and avoiding lecterns

that serve as symbols of separation. Dr. Burmark warns about dialectical

problems that your presentations can bring, so she recommends to always

consider that and try to connect to your audience by preparing for such issues.

She finishes the chapter by highlighting the importance of humor to connect.

Some of it can be planned, she states, but a lot of it is circumstantial.

This chapter highlights what every educator should know. That is build

on previous knowledge, make your environment an inviting one by making

your students feel they belong there, eliminate barriers that separate your

from your audience, and use humor when appropriate. I found the 10:2 both

new and interesting. It makes sense that it should work but it needs to be

implemented consistently.