Brian Crosby's TEDx Talk was fantastic! Who wouldn't want to be a student in his class? It was by far my favorite of all the videos, and I had actually already partly watched it on my own the previous week because I have been commenting on his blog all semester.
Brian has so much enthusiasm and excitement for his job. That was the most impressionable part of his video for me. I also liked that he and his students collaborated with professionals and graduate students on projects. Graduate students - that's an untapped resource I hadn't thought of before! A few quotes that struck me... "We can't keep racing kids through school." "We have to go back to a notion of building schools that honor kids." In my opinion, Brian Crosby is a shining example of what all teachers should be doing in their classrooms!
Paul Anderson's Blended Learning Cycle wasn't as motivating for me. Maybe because I watched it immediately following Brian.
Because I was thinking about and connecting what I was viewing to what I've recently read in Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Learning, it struck me that Paul's lessons were relevant, but they weren't very real. I appreciated his method - QUIVERS, but I found it lacking. I would like to have seen students using technology to present and share what they learned with an authentic audience. The most impressive part of his video was the idea of "hooking" the students. Euler's disk was an amazing hook!
Sam Pane's Super Digital Citizen was an awesome lesson and watching the video lead to my discovery of TeachingChannel and Common Sense Media.
The only drawback I could see was its lack of including the students' different passions. What if some of the kids weren't into comic books or super heroes? Maybe he could have somehow given them more choice in what character they chose to express good digital citizenship. Animal fans could have chosen a favorite animal. Music lovers could have chosen a favorite musician. It's just a thought.
"Students would have a hard time telling you what class they were taking," is my favorite quote from Dean Shareski's Project Based Learning. Wow! That's how it should be done! What these teachers were doing was also real and relevant.
I am a huge fan of combining subjects into one large class period. I like the idea of combining multiple teachers into the same classroom even better! Teachers from individual subject areas are collaborating together to bring meaningful lessons to the students. It's partnering on top of partnering! We need some major restructuring like this to take place in our local schools.
I also liked that students were changing their, "I'm done," to an, "I'm really proud of this." We've had those kids who put the minimal effort into the project just so they can say, "I'm done." It so much more rewarding to hear him/her say, "I'm really proud of this." It was also motivating to hear the teacher say, "We teach beyond the curriculum." The curriculum shouldn't be the ceiling. It should be the foundation that we help lay and build upon.