Thursday, 6 August 2015

VLN Astronomy!

Just finished my third session in the Virtual Learning environment of the VLN.  Things are so hectic in there I have not taken any screens my self yet - but my co-ordinator did!

This was from the second session where we dipped our toes into the galaxy just to see what that was like... the numbers out there are RIDICULOUS!

The start of today's session involved a triad of multi-tasking. Not just two things but three for a minute or two. That gets the blood pumping and the synapses firing!!

I have been creating and expanding the potential for more interaction (something I perceive as vital to engage students in a format that has the potential to slip into a mundane fact filled lecture) - however that system is not entirely in my control as it involves students actually remembering to do the small tasks such as going outside and spotting for the moon - so that they DO have something to contribute in the next session.

If today's session had not been taken up with ten minutes of techie issues it may well have scored low on my expectations for interaction because no one did go outside and look at the moon this week 
(and it was a blue one too. Figuratively, not literally...).

Have sent a follow up email to the principals of the schools with students in the class to try and gain some support for those issues. I am quite uncomfortable with just lecturing at them as I know that is potentially a wretched yawnfest!

Another strategy is to come up with more mindsparking deep thinking questions that are opinion based but time is a bit of a limit there as well, perhaps. 
We discussed our nearest star today - I had asked them 'how long it would take to get there and who would go' as their between class thinking last week - however not everyone did that so the deeper thinking part (who would go) did not actually spark for some of them until they heard in today's show that it was 78 000 years.
So then we talked about the Battlestar Galactica concept - a community of people travelling through space to a destination that they themselves would never reach but many many generations in the future would.

Then I blew that all away by saying that then it would be too late because in 33 000 years time that wouldn't even be our closest star anymore, MUWUHAHAHAHAH!

P.S. Yes, I realise there is a danger that my sense of humour is really only funny to me.

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