Sceptical would be an understatement when I told the students we were going to watch a talk about knitting. But ‘Granny Was A Hacker’ by Kris Howard courtesy of Ignite Talks, a presentation exploring the links between knitting and coding, had one of my most unimpressed students say, in typically understated fashion, ‘Miss, I actually really got that.’ Halleluiah! The benefits are multifarious but in a nutshell Ignite transforms speaking and listening. The format is deceptively simple; 5 minutes, 20 slides that automatically advance every few seconds and the topic your own choice and something that sparks your passion.
5 minutes can seem unending but 15 seconds is nothing. Each visual slide has to have purpose; the actual process of compiling the presentation is just as educational as the actual delivery. Students have a rolling visual reminder of their own subject and the fact that every other student in the room is then looking at the slides and not them relieves pressure on them immensely. However, for teachers this might well be an important learning experience. In a show of solidarity I agreed to do my own speech. I’ll reiterate my earlier point, 15 seconds is nothing when you’re trying to link Medusa, Lady Macbeth and Myra Hindley.
@SamWrigs English Teacher – London, UK