Pecha Kucha as an Exercise for Students (and Ourselves)

Why Haven’t We Heard of This? (Via 2 Cents Worth.) A few days ago David Warlick offered several links to a budding new phenomenon (which we edubloggers are discovering a bit late):

Pecha Kucha comes from a Japanese term that describes the sound of conversation — or chit-chat. It also describes a brand new medium for communication that was originally invented by Tokyo architects Mark Dytham (born in the UK) and Astrid Klein (born in Italy). A Pecha Kucha is a presentation with slide show, utilizing 20 slides, each lasting 20 seconds. So a single Pecha Kucha presentation will last six minutes and forty seconds.

I just read David’s post this morning, but discovered Pecha Kucha yesterday… in a WIRED magazine article (in the print edition). The article doesn’t seem to be online yet, but last December one of their commentators wrote this bit online:Pecha Kucha: Design Virus.

Practicing this new art form (something like the Haiku of the 21st century) would not only help those of us who teach using powerpoint (or keynote), but would also help students. What a great exercise to give students to help them develop their 21st century communication skills – and to help relieve the tedium of classroom presentations. Final products could even be shared online to save classroom time, or to allow students to browse and view at their own pleasure in a lab (or on their own machines in a 1:1 environment). Alternatively, there could be a sort of red carpet unveiling during (or after) class. Creating an evaluation rubric would be easy, and then the class could evaluate and vote on their favorites – and, of course, justify their choices.

On the other hand, Gary Stager, of course, would disagree. See the comments on Dave’s posts for details.