After watching Sugata Mitra’s inspiring TED talk, where he talks about placing a computer in a wall in a Delhi slum, and walking away from it only to come back later to find the children doing fantastic things on it, I thought I would adapt this method to one of my teaching sessions.
It was a session on Prezi, and I would normally begin by showing them basic navigation, then looking at some of the ways of adding objects, then frames / path etc. At the start of this session, I told the students about Sugata’s talk. I told them about the Granny role that one person took, standing at the back saying,”Wow, I didn’t know you could do that.” I then told them that Prezi was a presentation tool but one very different to Powerpoint. I spent about 30 seconds flying through a Prezi I had created so they understood that it was relating to graphics and movement. I then told them that I am that Granny and the computers in front of them were the same as the computer in the wall in Suguta’s talk.
It was a strange feeling when one of the students turned and asked how to do a Prezi task and I smiled, shrugged my shoulders and said, “dunno.” It felt slightly cruel but at the same time I watched the student work out how to do it herself. I was there to encourage their work but also to encourage them to share any new learning with their colleagues.
I think the students became very engaged as they were encouraged to try anything out to see what it did, rather than trying to follow any sort of instructions. They were not scared to veer off the path so to speak, but the path was one they created themselves.
I will definitely be taking on the granny role in the future!