I have just finished presenting my first practice lesson to the group on Scout. Since I have never created a lesson to teach anyone anything, I spent an incredible amount of time preparing for this ten minute session. When it was all said and done, I think I spent about ten hours creating a ten minute lesson. Yeesh.
Though I probably spent way too much time creating this lesson, I am actually glad I did. I feel really good about how I whittled my lesson down to the basic elements. I feel I did a good job limiting my lesson to certain features of Scout that are easy to use and understand. My major concern going into today was that my lesson, if not carefully thought out, would quickly balloon into an aimless discussion of Scout features that are overly complicated or take too long to explain. I wanted to keep my lesson clear, concise, and simple. I did not want to fall into a stammering explanation of what a ‘boolean operator’ is (I called the boolean operator ‘AND’ a ‘function’ to avoid just that) or even how we use all three boolean operators. These discussions can become complicated really fast. I also did not want to skip any steps, as I kept reminding myself that I could not assume my audience knew anything, even something so simple as what a keyword is. In those aspects, I believe I succeeded.
Where I feel I did not succeed, and I knew this would be the case, was in visual presentation and classroom interaction. I used powerpoint because, quite honestly, I wasn’t sure what else to do. My powerpoint helped me personally because when I get up in front of a group of people I quickly forget what I need to say, so it is nice to have something to reference so I do not freeze up. Obviously this is not good for my class, however, because they do not want to look at a dull, wordy powerpoint while I read it word-for-word to them. As for classroom interaction, I suppose I did a good job of incorporating questions into my lesson. In other words, I asked a few questions that were meant to force the class through the logical process of deriving keywords from ideas and putting them into Scout in the most effective way possible. However, I was hoping to come up with some sort of game or activity that would really engage the classroom, but I was not able to develop anything concrete before our meeting.
Overall, I am very happy with the way my lesson went, given that it was my first time up there. I feel it gave me the confidence to move forward in my user instruction experience.