Scarey – Just Like It Should Be

"Talk like you are speaking to your best friend."

“Talk like you are speaking to your best friend.”

I’ve been teaching variations of a course called Beyond Literacy for a number of years (both to first year undergrads and sophisticated graduate students). After all this time, you would think I could teach this in my sleep, and with very little angst. Nope.

Teaching at its best is  …  scarey.

As part of Beyond Literacy, the students complete a class project as a final assignment. Everyone works towards a single goal although students often work on specific but interconnected teams.

They get to decide what the project is, and this semester they said “Let’s do a radio documentary!” Yikes. I started to sweat. I’m a very accomplished radio listener but I know almost nothing about how to put a radio program together, let alone how to assess it as part of the course assignment.

Scared. And loving it.

Working with the wonderful (and supremely patient) Kelly Jones at CFRU, the community radio station in Guelph, we jumped (or fell) in. As a class, we learned about radio, about composing a program, about what works and what doesn’t, and about how to assess what we’ve done. We learned the grammar of radio. We all learned together.

The program is being edited in the studio tonight so I don’t have a final product (yet) to let you hear. However, the point of all this wasn’t the outcome but the process. Like all good (and scarey) learning journeys, all the fun was getting there.

…Mike

BTW In the process I’ve become a huge fan of Spark, This American Life, and (especially) Radiolab. Pure genius all of it.

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One Response to Scarey – Just Like It Should Be

  1. Kate Restivo says:

    I am beyond excited to hear the final product. Next you’ll have to do a miniseries with really crummy special effects, and Beyond Literacy will be just like the Hitchhiker’s Guide!

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