21st century show and tell
A few weeks ago, Marco Alameida and I were having a chat on twitter about how you might share all the awesome things you find on the internet with students, and perhaps more importantly, how students share the awesome things they find with you. Things like Cain’s Arcade, the video of a skydiver in a wingsuit landing sans parachute on a stack of cardboard boxes, or this incredible commencement address by Neil Gaiman.
In the past, I’ve shown thought-provoking stuff that isn’t always physics related in the first few minutes of my class. Students always report back enjoying these little snippets, but the way I’ve done it in the past, it’s definitely been all stuff shared by me, and I’m not sure that anything I’ve shown has really moved students much beyond the “neat” or “cool” reaction.
This is why the conversation with Marco got me thinking about a sort of 21st century “show and tell” for high school and beyond, which hopefully wouldn’t lose all of those awesome real artifacts that I fondly remember from my days of show and tell. The guiding rules of the club would be that everyone would have an opportunity to share something, and as part of sharing, the presenter would hopefully also try to think of some sort of follow up for the group.
There are also tons of other tools out there for doing this asynchronously, starting with bookmarking tools like diigo, which let you create groups to share links, but I think this endeavor would likely be far more powerful if you could carve out face to face time for sharing. Could this be something you do during homeroom or advisement time? Could a “show and tell” club work in high school? What do you think?