This is the third AAPT conference I have attended, and it is always the best conference of the year. This one is no different. Everything I'm learning is so practical. I will be applying it all in the next two semesters.
So just now I learned about guided film watching. I don't like showing movies in class, because it takes so much time. As Dave Concepcion put it in the seminar I just came from "It would be like spending a class simply reading the text to the students." But dave also had a solution to this problem. Guided film watching. Give them a question sheet that they have to fill out while watching. Some of the questions are simply "are you paying attention" questions, like "what color is Henry Fonda dressed in." Others are quick evaluation questions "do you think Henry Fonda's white outfit is symbolic." Guiding their watching means that they are not zoning out, but actively learning how to watch critically, which is something they think they know how to do, but really don't know at all.
So now I've got two ideas for next semester's critical thinking course. Show the Henry Fonda 12 Angry Men over the first three days of class, guiding the watching and stopping frequently to discuss what they are seeing. This may end up being a lot like reading to Caroline, where I wind up saying, "I don't know what's going to happen. Let's see!" a lot.
The other idea I got from the talk was to use Super Size Me later in the critical thinking course as an example of manipulative visual rhetoric and bad argumentation. Again, I'll use guided film watching, but by then they will have had material on visual rhetoric and statistics.
They should hold this conference every year.