Thursday, 11 February 2010

Pecha Kucha



OK. So how do you think the phrase "Pecha Kucha" is pronounced? No, I didn't know either until I watched this video. The reason I'm blogging about Pecha Kucha is that I got an email from my brother today. He lives in New Zealand and wrote to tell me about a Pecha Kucha event he had attended in Auckland. His mail reminded me that I had seen the phrase on a list of seminar events at the last Handheld Learning conference. Not really knowing what it meant I had ignored it, choosing to listen to the slightly mad ramblings of Malcolm McLaren instead.

Now that I have become better educated, I think there might be some really interesting applications of Pecha Kucha in school. The idea is simple - create a Powerpoint (or Keynote) presentation of 20 slides that play automatically for 20 seconds each and talk whilst they scroll by. I really like the creative constraint here and the way that a few simple rules can bring something as potentially boring as a Powerpoint presentation to life.

I wonder of all staff InSeT days should be delivered using this model? If it's not worth saying in 6 mins and 40 secs, it really isn't worth saying. And what about Tallis LAB? Perhaps we should insist that the presentations done by students for the "Make it better" project conform to Pecha Kucha rules? It would guarantee that all groups could present in the course of one lesson and make sure that they were succinct and animated in order to get their points across. Most importantly, they would have to prepare and collaborate on their preparations really carefully, thus ensuring lots of metacognitive and creative thinking.

I think minimalism is in the air tonight. About an hour ago, my friend Emma sent me a tweet saying that she was going to be interviewing Steve Reich as part of the Red Bull Music Academy in a couple of weeks and what did I want to ask him? I confess I was at a bit of a loss to think of something clever. In the end I decided to ask him which visual artists had inspired his music. I then scuttled off to iTunes to listen to excerpts of some of his amazing music. They reminded me of Guy's (Clock Opera) soundscapes for the performance of "Home" in the summer.

Anyroadup, that's enough rambling from me. I need a holiday! Thanks for all your hard work this term. After the holiday I have exciting news about a possible trip to the States (and maybe Scandinavia too).

1 comment:

David said...

Hi Jon (and everyone else)
The PechaKucha show in Auckland last night was sponsored by the New Zealand Book Council and so had a bookish theme. There were book illustrators, Dylan Horrocks (a fabulous NZ satirical cartoonist - http://www.hicksville.co.nz) and a brilliant presentation from someone who wanted to recreate 70s marching bands as a community event for the seven streets that border a small park in Auckland. Five people over the age of 35 came to practices for six weeks and then the group marched down the street in black t-shirts and trousers, and specially designed three-foot tall, gold marching band hats. They performed their 10 minute routine accompanied by a guy on a drum kit in the middle of the park, with kids and people walking their dogs standing looking bemused. Then they left the park and the thing was over. Hilarious.
If you get a change to go to PechaKucha, I'd recommend it. You never know quite what you'll see!

Dave Nicholls
Auckland, New Zealand