Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Design Matters by Darren Kuropatwa at METC 2010

These are my notes from “Design Matters” by Darren Kuropatwa at METC 2010 today. MY THOUGHTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. Darren is the most amazing math teacher I have ever met personally, and one of the most visionary teacher-leaders alive today. He walks the talk of blended, project-based, engaged learning like few educators do today. All of Darren’s METC 2010 resources are available on his wiki.

3 things today:
1- visual design
2- presentation design
3- instructional design

Think about our teacher training
– my college spent a lot of time teaching me content
– very little time teaching me pedagogy, presentation skills, how to work a room, make complex ideas understandable

When I became a teacher I was less worried about the content (which I was comfortable with) but more about

question about this picture
– do you recognize this as modern looking, a place where you might be comfortable living in?
– this house (Robby House) was built in 1908-1910, he designed this 100 years ago and today it looks modern
– there is an elegance to that house

Whatever your political stripes, the last US Presidential election was fascinating
– look at the “Graphic Design” of Barack Obama

when things are in blue, the recede back in the image
– also has a psychological effect
– all banks use blue: conveys trust, reliability

red is a hot color, it brings something forward for emphasis
– highlighters originally just came in yellow
– that is the first color the eye notices

best color for retention is to use a light purple (mauve)

showing the beauty of

scientists who do basic scientists are the most religious people
– when they start studing the world around us, they sense the design of how things fit together
– Thomas Aquinas presented this idea of purposeful intent and design, and the case for the designer
– things fit together
– search for the GUT in physics

design must be purposeful and intentional
– it has to serve a purpose
– it has to be beautiful


avoid…death by PowerPoint, video Don Mcmillan:

The font you choose tells a lot about you as a person 🙂

It can be good to have a lot of slides, it

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
– Albert Einstein

think about pate foragua (goose liver)
– it is much better to break that out into different pieces
– ten slides packed with information: you might not be interested in that

now going to show 2 presentation examples

read “Brain Rules” by John Medina, also “Made To Stick”
– how to make your ideas sticky

often all the bad things discussed in that

Garr Reynold’s presentation on Brain Rules
– creates a character for the presentation
– from Marzano: recognizing similarities and differences is one of the most effective ways to help students learn

rule 1: exercise boosts brain power

rule 4: we don’t pay attention to boring things
– 10 minutes is the magic amount of time, you have to engage them, do something

rule 10: vision trumps all other senses
– have you heard we only use 10% of our brains
– if that’s true, why is any amount of brain damage harmful
– because that 10% idea is a myth
– large

another preso: Dodging Bullets in Presentations

“If you strive for simplicity, you are more likey to reach the viewer”

PPT is setup for us to make mistakes with too much text

too often presenters

we speak about 150 wpm
– people read about 250 wpm
– if I put up text on the screen and start

Seth Godin: why would you put words on a slide when they can do quite well in yoru mouth

instead use captivating images

over 80% of your brain is focused on visual processing

real presentation example about mentoring staff

words do fine in your mouth

3 principles of instructional design

read book: “How People Learn” written in 1997, update in 2007
– research about how people go about learning
– 2nd book: How Students Learn mathematics, history and science
– these books are available free to read online

Principle 1: Students’ Errors and Misconceptions Based on Previous Learning
– students come to the classroom with conceptions of numbers grounded in their whole-number learning that lead them astray in the world of rational numbers; e.g. multiplying always makes numbers bigger

Principle 2: Learning is networked
– The knowledge network: new concepts and new applications
– understanding requires factual knowledge and conceptual frameworks

3/4 means multiple things (three quarters)
– that idea is connected to many others in a network

example: quadratic formula
– makes me think of graphs that are U shapes, axis of symmetry, etc…
– when I think of something about which I am expert, I connect to those ideas in a networked way

knowledge is NOT arranged hierarchically, it is arranged in a network
– we should aspire to reveal the network in which knowledge exists

what did you do when you struggled as a first year teacher
– you went and found people to talk to
– you become a more effective educator when you have an effective support network

Principle 3: Metacognition
– a meta-cognitive approach enables self-monitoring

New discussing Bloom’s Taxonoomy
– Creation at the top
– I think triangle is drawn wrong: should have largest part at top with CREATE (upside down triangle)

Dale’s Cone of Experience is the most abused image and

there is a hoax on this which comes up in presentations all the time


Dale talked about levels of abstraction

Knowing a thing and teaching a thing is not the same

having to teach a thing forces you to know something very deeply
– we should orchestrate student learning so they are teaching others

marry the twin pyramids: create content which educates
– that is a powerful formula

tests and quizzes can be an effective dipstick, but that is not as powerful…

example: the flickr example
– students took images of a quadratic

Another example: the wiki solutions manual assignment
– wiki is a space you can readily add original content to
– 2nd thing a wiki does: you can modify stuff already there
– that is what a wiki does

I had students create wiki solution manuals
– I seeded the wiki with exam level questions
– students choose 1 problem and have to solve that problem, completely and annotate the solution to teach others so an interested learner can learn from them
– gave students several weeks for this

Hardest thing for me in this assignment is to practice silence
– letting students find each other’s mistakes and fix them

Now showing comparisons between Jamie and Zeph’s contributions to Question 5
– looking for and identifying constructive modifications

next assignment example: the developing expert voices project
– my kids don’t read textbooks, they write them
– we use a scribe blog, we also have mentors which come into our class
– one was a math professor at the Univ of Michigan, telling story of interaction

4 is not a working group, it is a social occasion

Now showing video: watch and learn: DEVious


Now showing WOW video students created based on their use of Calculus
– great cinematography here


Dr Jay Lehr
– stood up and called a presenter

“Failure to spend the [class] time wisely and well, above our intellectual capability….”

See Bonnie Bassler @ TED

Only time you should put an animation in your presentation when it underscores your point

Another slideshare: The Story of H

How does all of this apply in my classroom

can’t do all this every day…

(see end slides in Darren’s slideshare above)

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One response to “Design Matters by Darren Kuropatwa at METC 2010”

  1. Gary Avatar

    Item nine on my daily Greader trip. An hour later after looking at everything I was left with a wow I wish I saw the original presentation. Thanks for sharing.