UD allowed her students today to persuade her to use the enormous monitor superimposed over the whiteboard in her way-smart classroom (it has all the techno bells and whistles) in order to show them a short YouTube.

This is her honors seminar in modernism and postmodernism (main text), and she was talking about postmodern music – specifically Michael Daugherty’s Dead Elvis.

She was reluctant to do things this way, though she could see how watching it while talking about it together had its attractions; and she was reluctant mainly because she was convinced simply getting the thing going would waste class time. But this guy in class just strode up to the podium, pushed a button and then another button, and there it was on the screen.

And UD will admit that it was rather wonderful watching this ten-minute performance with her class and being able, in real time, to talk about the elements of Daugherty’s composition. She had sent the students the YouTube earlier that day, but there hadn’t been enough time for everyone to see it; and even if there had been, there’s no denying that watching it together was a good thing.

So I suppose I’ve broken a techno-barrier.

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12 Responses to “For the first time in her teaching life…”

  1. gtwma Says:

    I’m imagining that old cartoon routine with an angel on your one shoulder and a devil on the other.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    gtwma: Totally.

  3. MattF Says:

    A consensual virtual meta postmodern achievement.

  4. Pete Copeland Says:

    You know, one can embed videos such as these in PowerPoint. 😉

  5. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Pete: You must be the devil on one of my shoulders that gtwma is talking about.

  6. Van L. Hayhow Says:

    Why in the world would the main text cost $151 in hardcover? Is the binding made of gold?

  7. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Van: Dunno. But my students got them at a good price from the bookstore.

  8. Daniel S. Goldberg Says:

    It’s hard for me to reconcile UD’s techno-reluctance with her enthusiasm for MOOCs. UD is large and contains multitudes. 🙂

  9. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Daniel: It’s one of those things that looks like a contradiction but isn’t, I think. I mean, I’ve been blogging for ages too. There’s a lot I do which isn’t at all technophobic. On MOOCs – I’m enthusiastic about my own MOOC, and MOOCs like it (lecture-style, low-tech, non-credit, no tests, free). I have nothing against democratizing technologies which make good things available to people all over the world. But most MOOCs are of course nothing like this – they are a species of distance-ed: monetized, rigged up with all sorts of intrusive security technology, missing a human being (call it a professor) and in its place full of distracting endless technocrap routines and games, etc. etc.

  10. Alan Allport Says:

    I think to begin with, UD wasn’t emphatic enough about the difference between her vision of what a MOOC should be used for and what the vision of most MOOCophiles is, and she came across as altogether too rah-rah about the whole thing. But in fairness, she’s clarified her views several times now, and makes the distinction more explicitly when she’s asked to comment on the MOOC phenomenon. So far as I can see, anyway.

  11. Daniel Goldberg Says:

    Understood, UD. Makes perfect sense.

  12. Van L. Hayhow Says:

    Ok, UD. Just watched the video. Loved it. I also own a cd of his superman piece by the Baltimore Symphony conducted by Zinman. Lovely music. Do you have it? But, what did you say to your students. I think you should post one of your analysis like you do with poetry. Come on, don’t let us down. I can’t be the only one who thought of this.

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