Beth Buzz - What is Beth Agnew up to now?

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Best Lecturer?

Finally some news to report! I have just been nominated for TVO's 2010 Best Lecturer Competition. Woot! This is fun and very rewarding because it means my students think my classes are at least somewhat interesting and worthy of sharing with the rest of the world.

I like to think that I make the crushingly boring topic of Technical Communication compelling, at least for our Tech Comm students. Of course, if you were a technical communicator, you'd see, as I do, the many exciting facets of this broad profession. Techwriters as a group are pretty interesting people. We have often had variegated careers and because the nature of our work requires the ability to grasp other topics quickly, most technical communicators are sharp, well-read, and able to discuss thoughtfully and cogently on a variety of subjects. Our profession is about relationships as well as business, information, technology and communication, so we cover the gamut of things that are important to people day to day.

The competition requires submission of video from one or more of my classes. It won't be the first time a camera has captured me doing what I do, and just about any class could make compelling viewing, even if you don't have a background in the subject matter. I don't say that out of ego, but as a practical reality -- if you don't have something that engages your students each class, how do you expect them to show up, pay attention, and learn anything? It's Teaching 101, really.

Mind you, there are some aspects of technical communication that are a LOT more fun than others. And coupled with my quirky sense of humour, you can imagine -- those of you who know me -- how some of those go...design, usability, dealing with SMEs, overcoming communication challenges and just making life easier for the user are all fodder for my own particular take.

Get me talking about the Segway and you'll see!

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