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Topic: On the importance of Show & Tell
Replies: 4   Last Post: Oct 18, 2017 4:06 PM

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kirby urner

Posts: 3,690
Registered: 11/29/05
On the importance of Show & Tell
Posted: Oct 17, 2017 5:24 PM
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I like sticking with Show & Tell as the term for it, meaning like TED
talks, or Ignite. Some of you in the field may know how O'Reilly pioneered
Ignite and let it roll out to such conferences as GOSCON (open source in
government), organized by friends in Portland. We had Ignite style
Lightning Talks, which are shorter than TEDs. ( event)

Anyway, the fear of public speaking is what we're addressing, and if the
class dynamics is such that bullying is happening during recess, here's a
way for teachers to know. Snide remarks and jeering would be overt signs
and not tolerated for long, but there's other body language we can watch,
to detect micro-aggression.

For some reason, Show & Tell is emphasized in the early grades and then
quietly phased out, until by senior year you're used to rank and file, Big
Cheese up front, the so-called military format, named for Prussians (a
failed nation).

The leader takes the pulpit ("bully pulpit"), sermon style, and expounds,
while the rank & file sit meekly, fantasizing about their turn to seize the
mic, and give their thinking the light of day (thinking of Newt Gingrich
for some reason).

In my day job with the kids (Coding with Kids, for-profit), we emphasize
Show & Tell as a continuing institution.

For example, my middle schoolers today will be challenged to "code
essentially the same thing in MIT Scratch and Codesters, then demo in front
of class".

I won't have time for them all maybe (our expected student:teacher ratio is
8 to 1 max), but it's the mindset that counts. "I'm going to do something,
then share it, my work, in front of a group, communicate, exercise my own

The "meek and mild rank and file" attitude Wayne favors (Linfield Report on
Japan) is more the Prussian fantasy (failed state), as professors with big
egos like to fantasize about how the Show & Tell was all about them, it's
the limelight on Mr. Smarty Pants.

Megalomaniacs take the stage throughout academia. They're poor with
management, poor at interpersonal relations, but they have a fiefdom, a
lecture hall. The sigma of all these dysfunctional adults, is what we make
'em go into a lifetime of debt repayment to enjoy. Failed state.

At Coding with Kids we don't hire such people. We're about letting
students exercise their presentation skills, not about giving paid adults
license to pontificate or yadda yadda.

Sure, the instructor is allowed to instruct, but what does that look like?

Last week they watched over my shoulder, on the big screen projector
(essential!), as I wrote an email, live, to the MIT Scratch people
protesting their blocking our Sellwood Middle School PPS guest Wifi.

Why should I have have to use my personal Verizon to gain access to their
service? This hurts the ability of the school to offer enrichment, such as
my company provides.

Today I'll show them the reply: we've been unblocked, email works.

My Show & Tell need be no longer than theirs really. We're peers.

I'm just a little more (a lot more) experienced. Even around Quakers they
call me an "experienced Friend".

Link to Quakers and more curriculum:


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