I was asked last week to help conduct a two hour workshop for a bunch of international fellows who were interested in learning to put together simple home-made movies. Since, unfortunately, we don't have Macs, and since, for the simple stuff on PCs, you really could do somewhat worse than Microsoft Windows Movie Maker, that's what we were going to use.
I was asked to do this last week, mind you, and the question even came up "should we prepare any advance materials?" My answer? No. I _LIKE_ to fly by the seat of my pants, and even though some premade materials might help, my other flaw is that I like to be somewhat verbose. In otherwords, if I were to make up some materials ahead of time, I would likely run into three main problems:
1.) I would be unlikely stick to my own plan.
2.) I would present way too much verbally, but not back it up in written format.
3.) Or I would simply not know where to stop writing, and want to include too much information, and therefore devote way too much time to prep work for what it was worth.
Now, granted, this was to be a group of only about 4-6 people that I would be teaching, so that might affect what a pro would have done in my shoes (more likely to do as I did and not bother preparing much ahead of time?). Never the less, the whole time that I was getting set up to do my schtick, I couldn't stop thinking that this would have been a good idea to try and practice the theory that I'm supposed to be internalizing in class.
Conduct a needs analysis, Determine.....
Yeah right. Ok, the first thing that you guys are gonna want to know about Windows Movie Maker is that... Another thing to keep in mind is that... Good question, to answer that were already going to have to get off track.... and so it goes.
Another part of me says, WAIT, isn't some of what we're learning hinting that maybe some of the design steps (at least some of the design MODELS, such as Rapid Prototyping) are really more a DEscription of what is already going on inside our heads, rather than a PREscribed formula that one must stick to in order to do things right?
When that side of my brain takes over (and wins), then my brain continues down the path of "so if that's a DEscription of what is happening, like an event log, then the rest of me can get on with doing what I was doing with out paying too much attention to what I've been told is the best way to do it."
The problem? Then what good are "best practices" doing for me if the part of me that wants to ignore them and get on with what I feel I can do somewhat naturally (as I fly by the seat of my pants) wins and I go into teaching moments without preparing?
Isn't there a way that good learning can happen without having to go through a bunch of prescribed steps?