Back To The Future
Mr. Chamberlain suggested via email:"Brian Crosby's presentation at TedX Denver would be a great video for your students because it illustrates how one topic can encompass a huge range of learning." Brian Crosby is an Elementary school teacher in Sparks, Nevada. His speech on TED gave me a completely different look on blogging.
Mr. Crosby hooked my attention in the beginning of his speech by reciting the data that was received from a school where over ninety percent of the students lived in poverty. The survey asked the fourth grade students simple questions. For example the first question asked, "What city do you live in?" Only nine out of twenty-four students could answer the question correctly. The sad part is that majority of the students have lived in the same city since kindergarden.
After Mr. Crosby caught my attention, he stated the purpose of "hooking" viewers with the recent survey he had found. He believes that the school in which the survey was taken has too narrow of a curriculum. One of my favorite quotes stated by Mr. Crosby was his response to narrow-minded curriculums. He said, "It is hard to imagine what can be if you don't know what is."
He then proceeded to explain how he creates a classroom where his students can use their imagination and make scheme of the world. First of all, his students each have their own blog. With their blog, the students write post that include videos of the activities they participate in in the classroom and their written response to each activity. The students also comment on other student's and teacher's blogs around the world. This gets the students globally involved and aware of what goes on in countries around them.
Another great concept that I learned from Mr. Crosby was the video that his students created with an science experiment. The students created a transportation device for a camera that was connected to a parachute and balloon. The students released the device. When the balloon reached eighty thousand feet it popped! Then the camera slowing began to fall, and the parachute popped open guiding the camera to safe landing.
This science experiment absolutely amazed me! Then to make it even better, Mr. Crosby tied in the language arts into his science lesson by having the students write a story about what they experienced. They had the choice to write a story that was factual or use their imagination and incorporate the balloon experiment into a narrative piece.
At the end of his lecture, he really touched my heart. Mr. Crosby was given a student that had leukemia, and instead of assigning that student to home study, Mr. Crosby did what no other teacher had done before. He had the student participate in the class each day through the use of the web cam and a computer. Leukemia is hard enough to go through, and he did not want the patient to feel left out or alone.
Overall, Mr. Crosby taught me that it is important not to rush students through school. I have to let my future students get engaged in the world around them and give them opportunities to think outside the box. With technology, I know that anything is possible.
A Vision of Students Today
Micheal Welsch created a video called A Vision of Students Today. His video is inspiring and a wake-up call to the Universities of the world. In today's society, technology is undeniably necessary. Many people no longer have house phones and the social networking systems are taking over our face-to-face contact.
Micheal really focuses on how outdated the use of chalkboards, even dry erase boards, are in today's classroom. We now have SmartBoards, Projector screens, etc. But still college professors choose to consume the classroom with chalk dust? At The University of South Alabama, I see a lot of my professors starting to incorporate the use of technology and illuminate the boring, out-dated concepts.
For example, in large classrooms, teachers are now using applications on Smart phones to take roll. Our Biology department is now offering virtual online lab courses. This allows the working students to complete assignments at their own time. My Spanish professor uses the SmartBoard to present new information and allow our class to hear hispanic accents from around the world. Also, we have online homework assignments on MySpanishLab that help us to over come grammar concepts and oral frustrations.
Overall, we live in a world that forces one to become technologically literate. E-mail, Skype, and social networking systems are no loner simply a luxury, but instead, they are now becoming a necessity too.