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GEO Initial Assessment (Feb 20070 In Chemistry we have built a small experimental recording studio to develop new and effective ways to broadcast a range of educational material (not only science) to schools via the Internet. The first key aim is to pioneer an approach which will enable individuals to record educational presentations in response to teachers needs but also retain sufficient flexibility to give the freedom presenters need to exercise their individual creativity and maintain enthusiasm. The immediate focus is however not just students, but their teachers – we still believe the teacher is the vital medium and they need as much help as possible.
We hope to empower teachers by giving them access to the best teaching materials and presentation techniques garnered worldwide, packaged for almost immediate use in the classroom. The second key aim is to catalyse the creation of similar sites to set off a chain reaction and so create a coherent synergistic network of mutually interacting sites hopefully on a global scale. Although the site is only in the preliminary stages and certainly we need to improve and learn as well as solve technical problems, we have already received very encouraging feedback such as the response below and those in Appendix B.
The feedback indicates how much exciting promise this approach may have to achieve some of the aims of the FSU Maths/Science Centre:
(From Alexander Busold 24th Feb 2007, currently at St. Edward's Oxford School) I was really impressed by the presentation we have seen at St. Edwards Oxford School made by you about your work, science in general, and why it is worth it to become a scientist. I just recently thought about this brilliant film and how it fascinated me and I would like to see it again and show it to some of my friends. Is it possible to get it somewhere? I could not find it on your homepage or homepage related sites. I would be really glad to see it again So far we have produced over a dozen specific presentations including: a) lectures, b) workshops, c) interviews and d) tutorials (Appendix A)
Below are two further responses (Appendix B Feedback 1 and 2) to the first full lecture presentation on the Internet to a school broadcast from the GEO studio. It was requested by St Edwards School in Oxford UK and watched by students in Nov 2006. The presentation was recorded the week previous to the presentation and is viewable now from the FSU site http://mediasite.oddl.fsu.edu/mediasite/catalog/ > click GEO then > "Science Society and Sustainability". The presentation was live essentially immediately and is now part of the permanent cache. Note that every presentation automatically becomes part of an invaluable continually growing and permanently streaming archive. We learned two important lessons from this event: a) When images and diagrams (such as powerpoint slides) are key parts of a presentation, the experience of the viewer is not too much diminished by the fact that the speaker is not physically present. b) The effect of a two-way back- up response after a presentation, even if it is only by telephone to answer questions, makes an important contribution to enhancing the immediacy and personal effect of the event. We are looking into the possibility of some form of two-way video/conference type back-up in future.
Two presentations (one by Colin Byfleet) were made on 23rd Feb 2007 to a local school, the School of Arts & Sciences in Tallahassee. This was backed up by Drs Penny Gilmer and Colin Byfleet who were present at the school during and after the presentations to answer the questions that children posed and to monitor their reaction. (see Appendix B Feedback 3 and 4) The total commitment to the project of colleagues Colin Byfleet, Penny Gilmer, Naresh Dalal and Gary Poplin in Chemistry has been invaluable in getting this project started. In addition nothing would have been possible without the constant technical help of David Simpson and the committed support of Cadence Kidwell of APPS: Center for Teaching and Learning.
APPENDIX A List of Presentations on the GEO Site (as of 25th Feb 2007) Education lecture to the ACS conference in California (HK 22m) Research lecture to the ACS conference in California (HK 28m) Lecture “Architecture in NanoSpace” to Conference in India (HK 27m) Buckyball Workshops for small children (7-10 yrs) to Iceland (HK 45m) First GEO interview entitled “Konversations with Kasha” (M Kasha 60m) “Discovery and Creativity” talk to Tallahassee School (HK 16m) “Discovery of C60” workshop to UK (HK 10m) Tutorial on “Isaac Newton and Gravity” (C Byfleet 18m) Mediasite GEO Technology presentation (HK 12m) Miscellaneous presentation to UK (HK 10m) Test research presentation “Motions at Interfaces 2” (Prajna Dhar 10m) Test research presentation “Motions at Interfaces” (Prajna Dhar 8m) Buckyball Workshop for small children (7-10 yrs) to Venezuela (HK 28m) Controversy Series “The Klein Paradox 1” (D Bosanac 18m) Controversy Series “The Klein Paradox 2” (D Bosanac 21m)
APPENDIX B Feedback on educational issues (non-technical) of GEO presentations Feedback 1 From: Julian Baker St Edwards School Oxford UK Dear Harry, Well we pulled it off and the presentation went like a dream. The kids were remarkably focused and listened with unusual concentration to your pitch. I was of course completely absorbed by what you said and found it both inspirational and fascinating. Thank you from me for making this happen. All the best, Julian Feedback 2 From Robert Fletcher St Edwards School Oxford UK Dear Harry, I wanted to thank you for all your hard work in compiling the talk for us today. I hope it was obvious from the sixth form reaction that it was very much appreciated; we certainly found it very interesting. (You were actually speaking to me at the end, after Julian Baker had dialled you.) I think the whole event made us more alert to what we can do in future with e-presentations, and it was exciting for us to have to think about those issues, as well as the things you raised for us in the presentation.
With very many thanks once again. Robert Feedback 3 from Penny Gilmer re Tallahassee School Presentation Feb 2007 The presentation worked fine, and I was in Julie Sear's classroom with middle school kids. I had brought prisms and a red and a green laser with me. There was just enough sunshine that we got the set of colors from the prism left in the window ledge on the white board where your MediaSite presentation was shown. Seeing what happened to the laser in the prism was really cool, seeing reflected light and the path of the refracted light. Julie got some photographs. I was enthralled with it all. The school is very appreciative. I did ask the children to write down their questions for me, to get an idea of their thinking, and to help us in the future. Julie was full of interesting questions and observations as well. Feedback 4 from Colin Byfleet re Tallahassee School Presentation Feb 2007 Both classes (11- and 14-year-olds) seemed pleased to have both the presentation and a visitor. The children were absorbed by the presentation. They were full of questions afterwards about spectra, stars, atoms etc. and I was chatting to both groups for about an hour each. I have some of their questions in the lab. I think the staff appreciated the visit a good deal. The presentation provoked good questions and the children were involved. The day occupied Penny for about two hours and me for about 4. This we couldn't manage for all schools. Perhaps we might think about some extra material to support the staff with a lecture of this sort.