Learning Attitude 2

Today I read some quotes in the signature part of one email.

“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”

I am immediately impressed by the words and did some research. The quote is from the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. You may get more information about it from http://www.thelastlecture.com

I also discovered some more quotes relevant to learning at http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/complaining and want to share some:

  • “Never tell your problems to anyone…20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them.”
  • “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.”
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Tips to make a classroom presentation fun and interesting (updated)

It’s very common for students to deliver presentations (either formal or informal) on certain topics in the classroom. However, I found many of the presentations are not “interesting” enough to grab other students’ attention. Here are some tips (from my own experience) for making presentations interesting:

  • [New] Co-presentation (http://www.totalsuccess.co.uk/co-presenting-tips-and-techniques/): I personally find this very helpful if the presenters cooperate well in group presentations. A common practice in group presentation is to split the presentation into several sections and each person takes one. It is better to present like a conversation throughout the session. I will come up with more information in another post.
  • Utilize relevant multimedia (graphics, animations, video clips, sounds, etc.) and discuss them (this is important – having these media but not discussing them sometimes confuses people). They can be funny, but also should be relevant.
  • Share personal real life experience, and encourage the audience to share theirs.
  • If it is a team presentation, you can present different arguments and ideas from each presenter, or have a debate among presenters.
  • Hold in-class polls. Besides asking audience to raise hands, try these polling systems: 1) polling service such as http://www.polleverywhere.com (they can use cell phones to vote!); 2) (if in a computer lab) wordpress.com or blogger.com poll gadgets, or Google Docs Form.
  • Do small exercises or play simple games that involve the audience. Award them with candies.
  • Deliver live demonstrations. Note that the demonstration is a way to illustrate your idea; it should serve your presentation, not the other way. Do not let the demo take over your presentation.
  • Ask interesting questions to the audience (don’t ask hard (cold) questions). Remember to give feedback to their answers. Prepare your own answers to questions and see how people respond.
  • Use good and interesting examples. Don’t just read definitions of terms and concepts. Use live examples from the Web if possible.
  • Set up dummy statement and let people judge and debate, or intentionally do something incorrect and let the audience judge. Present conflicting arguments and ideas.

Is there any other practice you follow and find effective? Please share.

Some other resource: