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Posts Tagged ‘new

One definition of a tic is an idiosyncratic and habitual feature of a person’s behaviour.

I exhibit a “tic” every Lunar New Year. I insist on calling this time of year the start of the Lunar New Year, not Chinese New Year.

Why? Simply because it is not just the Chinese that celebrate it. The Wong Fu group can explain.

Video source

This year we celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year of the Rooster. I hope that more people resolve to be more understanding and less ignorant instead of hiding behind old labels or preconceived notions.

Learning is about lasting change and this often starts with the unlearning of what we might hold dear. Chinese New Year is inaccurate and exclusive. Lunar New Year is not. This is not a semantic game, but a reflection of values and mindsets.

I occasionally conduct the necessary evil of keynotes and seminars using Google Slides (samples), so I was glad to hear about the new Audience Tool.

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I wondered if it functioned like Pigeonhole or Dotstorming. The former is a passcode-accessed space for ranking questions from an audience. The latter is an open tool akin to online stickies.

I also wondered if the Q&A tool could act as a backchannel (like TodaysMeet) for audience members to become even more active participants of a talk.

The Google Slides update rolled out and I explored the features of the Audience Tool.

In the desktop version, the Audience Tool is activated via a dropdown menu under the “Present” button.

Google Slides: Audience Tool

In the mobile app version, the Audience Tool is counterintuitively activated via the “Present to a new video call” option.

Google Slides: Audience Tool (mobile app)

Here are ten of my notes on the Audience Tool:

  1. When you start the tool, an overlay with the URL to access the tool appears over the top of your current slide. The shortener to the Audience Tool is convenient, but I also like to provide a QR code to make it easy to access.
    Audience Tool URL as overlay.
  2. The tool works well on desktop or mobile. If you can type or SMS, you can use the tool.
  3. It can be used as a basic backchannel, but note the next point.
  4. The voting up of questions or comments works efficiently and allows popular statements to rise to the top. This also changes the order of entries based on their popularity.
  5. You cannot thumb up or thumb down your own question. This prevents some abuse.
  6. Participants are anonymous. If you are signed in to Google Drive, you have the option of being anonymous.
  7. As the presenter, you have the option of displaying questions or comments via the Audience Tools panel. The questions or comments can be selected one at a time and replace the current slide. Clicking on the slide advances the deck to the next slide.
  8. If you accidentally close the Audience Tools panel, you need only resume the Presenter View and you have the option of starting a new session or resuming the previous one.
  9. The Q&A history is saved with the slide deck and appears in the mobile app (three dots menu) and desktop versions (Tools menu) of Google Slides.
  10. If you close the main Google Slides presentation, the Audience Tool stops working.

I cannot say for sure if the Google Slides Audience Tool is a TodaysMeet or Twitter backchannel killer. At the moment, it:

  • does not highlight the users, questions, or comments with different colours;
  • provides no options to delete questions or comments;
  • has no options for exporting the text for archiving or showing a projector view;
  • is not a persistent feature unlike most backchannels tools.

I do not think that most presenters will miss these features. The Google Slides Audience Tool is certainly a threat to other free Q&A and backchannelling tools.

No, this is not about the Frozen theme song.

The hardest part of learning something new is not embracing new ideas, but letting go of old ones. -- Todd Rose

I found this simple but elegant quote by wading into my Twitter stream yesterday.

I am tempted to incorporate it as a final slide for my keynote this morning. It sends a parting message not to overload ourselves when managing change: If you take, you must also let go. It is also a reminder that past habits often get in the way.

Here are the sources for my image quote. I Googled the tweet and found the original by author Todd Rose.

I used my favourite Creative Commons image search engine, ImageCodr, to look for “letting go” and found the image below. I imported and edited it in Google Slides.

Instead of wishing people a happy Chinese New Year, I make it a point, at least in writing, to remind folks that it is a Lunar New Year. Yeah, I am fun to be around.

The fact is that the Lunar New Year is not restricted to a place or a race. It is not just the Chinese who celebrate it. It is based on the lunar calendar. Oh yes, I am really fun to be around.

In case anyone wants to make the case that there are other lunar calendars (yes, there are), I would point out that this one marks a new year in China and parts of Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, etc. Are we having fun yet?

So to my fellow apes who are born in the Year of the Monkey, I also remind you that a monkey is not an ape.

This photo should make you think.

But instead of seeing just the similarities between a classroom then and now, I also see a key difference.

The modern classroom should look empty because kids can learn on their mobile devices and with YouTube.

The problem is we still rely on 100-year-old strategies and bring them back into the classroom of old.

You can imagine parents telling their kids to stop playing video games and to do their homework instead.

These same parents will ignore the growing suspicion that schooling does not prepare kids for their futures but for their past instead.

They will ignore the increasingly loud rhetoric about preparing kids for jobs that do not exist yet. Watch the segment of the video last edited in 2012 and embedded below.

Video source

They will certainly ignore two things I tweeted recently about the possibility of gaming as a career and the prize money it offers.

But they ignore these at their peril and to the possible detriment to their kids because they focus on what they want instead of what the kids need or might be able to do.

Ten years ago when YouTube was born, who thought that it might be possible to live off online videos by vlogging? Who even considered vlogging as a job instead of a hobby? Who thought that vloggers might get TV shows, movie deals, merchandizing, sponsorship deals, books, tour dates, etc.?

We might not have a new economy (it is still about money), but there are new players who are rewriting the rules or making up new ones.

Video source

This RSA video suggests a few problems with attempts at systemic educational change (39sec to 1min 24sec mark). One problem is teacher professional development that provides knowledge, but does not attempt to change behaviours.

To make matters worse, only one out of four teachers in OECD countries are rewarded for trying to be innovative (1min 56 to 2min 02 sec mark).

RSA suggest we stop asking the old question of “What works?” and instead encourage teachers to ask “What might work?” To do this, teachers must be problem-owners, solution designers, and risk-takers.

Click to see all the nominees!

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