AMITIAE - Wednesday 10 February 2016
Cassandra: Three Macs and an iPhone - Presentations in an English Class for Thai Engineering Students
By Graham K. Rogers
As it was clear that testing reading was not working, I made a switch last year to the more communicative presentation format: students need this skill anyway, so it helps to start them early, even if the results may be patchy. I make it clear to the students that there are no marks for English (but I may cut a couple if they slip in too much of their native language).
When the class started, there were three Macs in the room: a recent MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air and an older MacBook Pro (about 2010).
In the end, five groups made presentations with the Macs, but two were using the computers for the first time and may not have produced the best performance. One group suffered slightly as they tried to run the presentation from a USB drive, which I think always slows things down: better to copy the data to the computer before the class. It is also better to be familiar with the technology of course.
Towards the end one group approached and asked if they could use the Lightning-to-VGA adapter I had and ran an impressive presentation from an iPhone, with some interesting transition effects in Keynote. They knew the content and produced workmanlike slides for the presentation. I was pleased with this.
Later I asked them about their work and was surprised by two things: rather than producing the slides on a computer and synchronising, they had worked solely on the iPhone; and they had never used Keynote before.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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