I have been quietly updating several components of the website in the past few days. Most of the content for each of the pages (at least the ones that are completed) serves as a teaser to a particular lesson. My style of teaching greatly revolves around my ability to ad-lib the extra details from a series of bullet points.
It does make me wonder though, how important is the specific content we discuss? Do my students simple accept that each lesson will being with a spiel about something they will have to listen to, only to then be confused when the set questions or exercises have little to do with the content. Most of the time, especially in a technology field, the content is quite literally very different each year. I've only been teaching three and a half years, and I'm unsure if there's a single thing I'm still teaching now from my first year lesson plans.
I find it is usually better to mention the issue (pretty much straight from the syllabus) and then discuss them with the students as adults. Typically by asking them what they already know and, more often than not, confirming it to be true and correct. Thus, why teach all the content sometimes? Wouldn't it be easier for students to see a list of things on the board and simply ask which of them they don't know, don't understand, have never heard of, or want to clarify? How much time could be saved or re-assigned to projects?
A Computing teacher with a passion for collaboration and open source teaching.