Friday, September 20, 2013

Project update

The MLTI laptop rollout was delayed this year so we have not implemented the discussion board yet.  Hoping to do that in the next week or so.  Megan and I think it is all set to go.  We will need to point students and faculty to it and begin posting.  Still hoping it will be used and generate some conversations around science!

Videos that describe new learning

"Prepare kids for change."  An excellent suggestion for teachers as we prepare kids to enter a world which is changing at an exponential rate.

"If I ain't learnin', it ain't fun."  Engagement is number one in education.  The only problem with this quote, is that kids are interested in many different things.  Engaging students in subjects or ideas that do not interest them can be very challenging.  So it is easy to say, but not easy to do.  Nevertheless, our job as educators is to engage.  Students who are engaged and invested will learn and retain more.

Project based learning is a great way to learn.  Above I wrote about engagement, and this is the ultimate form of engagement.  Project based learning empowers students and makes them feel like members of the workforce, and that they are making a difference.  Their learning matters.  I'm hoping that the 8th grade continues to teach Maine history as part of our curriculum.  I have several ideas for project- based learning and Yarmouth history that would be beneficial to the Yarmouth historical society as well as future 8th grade classes.

Gaming video:
blissful productivity: "happier working hard than just hanging out".  Quotes that describes gamers.  Can we harness this energy?  Put it to use to solve world problems?  What if we all went to work with this kind of engagement?   Wow.  Quite a video on how gaming can solve the world's problems.  The challenge will be to create games that are engaging enough to entice gamers to solve these problems.  A great idea that will work if the games are engaging.  It would be fun to pilot some of these games in the classroom- using the class as a collaborative environment to compete against other classes... teachers and students can be on the same team to solve the problems together- and compete against other classes.  Sounds like fun to me!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ted Talk- Khan Academy Videos

Love the TED Talks!  A very inspiring video on "Flipping the Classroom".  Kahn makes several valid points of how this concept could potentially revolutionize education.  Having students view "lecture" or content explanation videos for homework allows students to watch at their own pace and rewind if needed to understand the concept, which they do not get to do during class.  It also frees up teaching time in the classroom.  Teachers can now work with students who are struggling with a concept while other students are working on a problem or project to demonstrate proficiency with the concept.  Ultimately, students can work and progress at their own pace.  Previous lessons can also be viewed again, if needed.  

We have used several of these videos as reference and additional resources.  This works great for students to hear information from a different voice, and maybe presented in a different way.  Khan Academy videos are an excellent resource for the classroom.  

PBS Learning Videos
The PBS Learning videos are outstanding!  We have used several of these in science classes, but I have not come across them all in one place as a resource.  It is necessary to create an account to have full access.  Lots of short video clips that can be used for mini-lessons or flipping the classroom.