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Parents Presentation

September 19, 2011

Last Thursday was parents night, and for those who are interested, I’ve included a video of the presentation I give.

Here is a quicktime video of the actual keynote presentation—notice I’ve used some of Dan’s awesome ninja tricks from Keynote camp.

If you’re interested in the original keynote file, I’ve zipped it up and linked it here (be warned—it’s 280MB).

I also managed to borrow a second projector and run a continuous loop of student feedback.

View this document on Scribd

I generated this feedback by asking students to complete this brief weekly feedback assignment on Webassign.

View this document on Scribd

Overall, I think the presentation went very well. I received a lot of compliments from parents, and even a few emails the next day. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have as well.

However, all of this work has me thinking—if my class really is about learning through experience, why in the world do I introduce it to parents with a 20 minute lecture? Next year, I’m thinking of taking Frank’s idea and simply giving them a link to a video of me giving a presentation, and instead of lecturing for 20 minutes, actually get them involved in a experiment that their kids have done. I think this could be far more powerful for helping parents to understand the type of environment we’re looking to create in this physics class.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2011 11:02 pm

    Love the idea of getting parents doing an experiment. And the feedback from your students is fantastic (especially the one about restructuring the education system :). I think your survey prompts are interesting — it’s great that you’re about a week ahead of me, I’m going to steal these for sure.

  2. Agnes permalink
    September 21, 2011 8:05 pm

    As I was watching your presentation to parents, I was wondering the same thing. Why were you lecturing to them?

    • September 26, 2011 7:07 am

      Well, I lecture for the same reason most faculty do—it seems like useful way to communicate the content I want to communicate, most other faculty do it to, it’s the way I’ve always run parents night, I feel like I deliver a pretty good talk, and too easily fall in love with hearing myself talk. We should definitely share more stories of non-traditional approaches to parents night—it would help me to break out of this habit more easily.


  1. Parent lecture– I mean presentation « The Scientific Teacher

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