Why Professors Don’t Teach

26 09 2009

That is the title of a provocative article in GlobeCampus.

Wellcome Trust Videos

9 07 2009

I’m very excited about the potential of IT to improve the teaching of history. That’s why I was delighted to find that the Wellcome Trust for the History of Medicine recently sponsored a workshop that allowed academic researchers in the field of medical history to turn their research findings into professional quality online videos. The dramatic fall in the price of software for editing videos means that individual researchers can produce mini-documentaries with fairly high production values. I’m not a historian of medicine, but I think that these techniques could be translated to other fields quite easily.

Here is a link that will take you to the videos.

Eager Student

17 06 2009

One of the first-year students I will be teaching next year has already emailed me to ask for a course outline. I’m impressed, since the school year does not even start until September. He seems really dedicated. This is encouraging.

One of the best lectures I have ever seen

4 06 2009

Like most academics, I’m constantly trying to improve my lectures. In particular, I try to keep abreast of developments in IT that allow university teachers to be more effective in imparting knowledge to 20 year olds. I was, therefore, very interested in this online video of a truly outstanding lecture by Dr Hans Rosling, a Swedish doctor interested in global public health. Global public health is pretty far away for the subject matter I teach, of course. While I found the subject of his lecture fascinating, I’m much more interested in _how_ Rosling communicates his information. As someone who struggles to make effective use of Powerpoint, I’m just blown away by what he can do with images on a screen. He is absolutely brilliant when it comes to using animated graphics to present statistical information.

I urge every university teacher in every discipline to look at this video. One person had this to say about Rosling’s lecture: “You’ve never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called ‘developing world.’”