How 21st century am I? Not very it turns out. It's amazing how getting 50 freshmen through "Romeo and Juliet" wears you out. It's more fun now as they understand it more and more with less and less help from me. But let me tell you what, Act I was a drag! Act II was much better. I'm hoping for the same progression through Act V. But what about this 21st century stuff. The best I've been able to do is to incoporate some modern or "modern," as was the case with the Three Stooges, videos and to try to encourage some more indepth discussions. When we met earlier in the semester, the fabulous Dr. B. helped me work through some freshmen discussion challenges, and there are many. For example, I ask a question, they give a one-dimensional answer, I ask why, they say they don't know, I ask a further, more indepth question that essentially means "why" and they shrug. It's scintillating, really, it is. (cough, cough) But they are getting better. Plus, I think those one-dimensional answer-ers are starting to realize that they don't just get to say something silly in front of everyone, they have to be able to back themselves up when I ask a follow-up question. One kid the other day even said, "Well I didn't think I was going to have to talk about it." Yes you are, yes you are. Now, what about those movie clips? Do they count as 21st century learning. When used alone, I think no. But if I tie them to the day's discussion, maybe a little more, and if they relate to real life, then yes, even more. We watched the Taylor Swift "Love Story" video on the first day and broke down some of the lyrics. That was an especially good discussion. Another favorite was linked to a clip from "Friends" about the importance of names. That was a good one because they got to say "crap" as many times as they wanted and I called them all Bob during an illustration of how tied they are to their names. Overall, a successful discussion. Until a kid called me Bob that is.
Now, what's the next level? Do I rush through Acts III-V and then do all the "fun" 21st century stuff at the end? That would work, but I know it isn't the best choice. What to do, what to do? I wish there was a conference where they could teach me this stuff. Maybe I'll do some solid research over Thanksgiving break.