I had to create a presentation for a meeting at work and decided to try out Prezi, a new online presentation software that helps you to think about giving presentations differently than you would with PowerPoint. Unlike PowerPoint, which is a deck of slides presented in a linear way, Prezi is a giant canvas on which you can place words and images of various sizes, zooming in and out and around to present. While I was using it, I came across this presentation called “Math is not linear” that I thought would be worth sharing here (Note: click the right-pointing arrow at the bottom of the presentation to advance through the slides):
I thought this was worth sharing here because it speaks to a lot of the issues that I’ve talked with my grad student and other teaching colleagues about teaching science in general, like:
- show students how the material relates to their lives
- think big picture
- present students with problems first (which then motivates students to learn, because they want to solve the problem at hand), rather than basing on memorizing formulae from the textbook and then asking them to solve a problem/answer a question about it. This is, after all, how the scientific method works.
I really wish more of my undergraduate education had been taught this way. Because, honestly, I can still remember lots of things from the classes that I had that were taught this way (and we are talking a decade later), whereas for the classes I had that were taught in the traditional lecture format and tested via regurgitation-type exams – I don’t seem to be able to remember a thing!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we approach the teaching of science in the comments section!
Note: We have no association with Prezi.com, other than that I am a user of the service. We aren’t making any cash or anything for blogging about them – I just think it’s a pretty cool product!