After reading several columns worth of advice about making presentations (and recalling what I learned from Edward Tufte and Doc Searls), I spent a while yesterday afternoon pining for a reason to make one myself. I don’t think my editors will accept a slide presentation for a book review or a textbook chapter, though, so that will have to wait.

In ruminating about the topic, though, it occurred to me that for all the noisy denunciations of “lecturing” and the inefficiency of that pedagogical mode, my students seem to have learned a fair amount (more than I wish they had!) from television — another one-way, monological mode of communication. Are we studying the malign outcomes of “lecturing” in general, or about lecturing that doesn’t attain the level of effectiveness that characterizes My Little Pony or American Idol?

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