Law and poetry.

Or, why communication skills are important for teachers.

So as I was busy being wowed by how podcasting is used in education, I discovered a lecture by Professor Lawrence Joseph titled “Why Poetry Matters”. The tagline for this was “Does law get to the bottom of things? Writing poetry – not an alternative but a necessity.”

This had me wow-ing even more, and I was determined to find out what the lecture was about. So as the podcast was downloading, I made breakfast for myself and when I was good and ready, I plunked myself down on my chair to commence breakfast and what I thought would be an interesting lecture.

Well, let’s put it this way – breakfast was interesting enough. Or maybe I should be slightly more transparent – the lecturer left much to be desired in terms of his communication skills.

Because I spent half the time trying not to be bored by his monotone, that was half the time lost to what would’ve been a very insightful lecture. I had to play back several portions of the lecture several times, so much so that I just gave up on watching the damn thing and decided to do a Google search instead.

I found a document that I think pretty much sums up his thesis and argument, but then again, I could be wrong, because I didn’t catch the entirety of what he was saying.

It’s kinda sad because it only serves to show that even the greatest technology won’t be able to help any teacher if her/his lesson or the way s/he conveys it is completely not engaging at all. Moreover, to have to use a text-based Internet source in place of the video is retrogressive and a complete waste of technology, time and effort.

Now, physician, heal thyself! *chuckles* I have to go create a lesson plan now!

iTunes U delivers the facts behind the science fiction.

Thanks to the Utah Education Network, students at the Utah Electronic High School get to watch weekly science fiction films, many of which would be perfect candidates for Halloween. That includes films like Black Dragons, Curse of the Aztec Mummy, The Devil Bat, or Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory. Though iTunes U can’t show you the films, SciFi Friday can bring you the reality behind the fiction in them.


Exciting, no? I like the way in which podcasting and education have merged. And there’s a whole host of universities that have jumped on the bandwagon, including prestigious/older universities:

Programming from two of the most prestigious universities in the English-speaking world — the University of Oxford and Cambridge University — is now available on iTunes U. The two have provided lecture series, walking tours, films, “Interviews with Oxonians,” performances by the St. John’s College Choir, and video series on “Art,” the Environment,” “History,” and a range of other topics. Peruse and enjoy.

Singapore still has a long way to go then…