I’m on holiday in Rhodes at the moment and I love how there’s little notion of time in Greece. Today I decided to get the bus into Rhodes town. It’s about 50km or so from the fishing village of Pefkos where I’m staying.
I headed down to the local bus stop in the village. There wasn’t a timetable so I waited not knowing when (or indeed if) a bus would turn up.
After half an hour or so a bus pulled up.
“Where are you going?” asked the Greek bus driver.
“Rhodes town.” I replied.
“How long does it take?” I enquired.
He shrugged and looked at me as if I’d asked him to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity – through the medium of modern dance.
I got on the bus and persevered: “An hour? Roughly how long?”
Again, he looked at me with a mixture of pity and humour – the kind of look he probably reserves for tourists.
“I’ll shout you when we get there.” He offered, trying to be helpful.
Charming anecdote Scott, but what does any of this have to do with using technology in teaching and learning? You may well ask.
Well, nothing really, except it reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a friend at work about timed activities. Whether it’s for a short group discussion or something else we often say to learners “I’m going to give you ten minutes to do X, Y or Z” and probably use nothing more than the clock on the wall or our watch to time it.
And that’s perfectly fine, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. However, if you want to add a sense of fun you might want to vary it now and then by using sites like the online bomb stopwatch or the theme music from the popular TV show Countdown to add a sense of drama.