Hard Work I Don’t Think So


Watch this video with Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs.  In this TED talk he discusses hard work and how our society has been waging a war against it over the years.  I found this to be quite interesting. As I teacher I see this and hear this from students daily.  Many students really don’t see the need to put out effort and learn. This disconnect with hard work and the reason for it seems to not register with them.  Students can not seem to grasp that if they put in the time now they will reap the rewards later. They live in a society that provides immediate response.  When they don’t see immediate results they do not see the relevance or purpose of doing it.  

As a teacher this poses a quite difficult dilemma.  How do I present information and teach content with immediate response and relevance for students?  This is much harder than one would think.  So as educators how can we bridge this gap?  The answer to this I believe to be the true key to education reform. Kids learn differently today and education needs to adapt to this, not fight it.

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Motivating Students

As every good teachers knows the key to student success is keeping them motivated.  During the first week of school I usually talk to my students about motivation and what they can accomplish if they just keep trying.  This year I found a great little video clip called “No Arms, No Legs, No Worries” .  This is a great motivational 4 minute clip that will allow you to talk about motivation with your students.  This will open up discussion about perspective, persistence and effort and how they can lead to success.  I don’t know how anyone can watch this view and not be inspired and motivated.

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Augmented Reality Experiment Post 3: “My First Game”

Mystery Animals

My First Augmented Reality game.

On Monday I tried out my first Augmented Reality game.  The objective of the game was for my students to learn a little information about the three major fur bearing animals of the Pacific Northwest.  The purpose of this game was two fold.  The first was that I wanted them to test the technology to see if they could interact with it.  The second was an introduction into our next unit on the fur trading era of the Pacific Northwest.

The only directions I gave them were on the purpose and organization of the game.  They were told that they were to discover three animals on the back football field.  At each location on the map they would find a description of an animal and an audio recording of the sound that animal makes.  It was their task to discover the name of that animal and convert that name into a code to unlock the next location on the map.  The hint for the code was A=1.  Students then went outside, opened the software, and began navigating the game, once they obtained a satellite signal.

Students seemed to have no trouble using the software to navigate through their game.  They were highly engaged and had to be persuaded to come into the building, when it began to rain.  Students were very motivated, almost driven, to get to the end of the game.  This was very interesting to me, since some of these students are not often motivated in class.   While I assume that some of the motivation was in the novelty of the situation, the game atmosphere did seem to motivate many of the students.  All students were able to eventually navigate the course and complete the game.  As students entered the classroom after completing the game, there was a lot of discussion about the three fur bearing animals and how they came to their conclusion for each animal.  The discussion in class went extremely well.  They really enjoyed talking about the games and the information that they discovered about each animal.  Every student I felt achieved the learning target for the day, and they truly seemed excited about the possibility of doing this type of exercise again.  All in all I would have to say my first game, while not overly complex, was a complete success.

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An Intriguing Entry Task

This past week I came across a video by Daniel Pink called “Two simple questions that can change your life in 2010”.  This is a video to promote his new book called Drive.  As I watched this video I really began to think about my students and how many of them lack motivation because they do not have a purpose or goal in their lives.  So I decided to use this video as an entry task for my next lesson.  The results were very enlightening and really allowed me to gain some excellent insight about my students.  This is one of those exercises to go into the toolbox for future years to come.

As my students came into my room I told them to get a sheet of paper out.  Once they were all seated and the bell rang I played the video. When the video was complete we discussed motivation and its link to having a purpose.  I used the analogue about a dartboard.  If I do not have a clear goal it is like throwing darts at the dart board with my eyes closed.  I am unable to adjust and get frustrated that I can only hit the board occasionally.  But if I have my eyes open not only do I see what I am aiming at I can make adjustments to increase my chances for success.  After answering questions and making the link between finding what they like to do and using that as motivation to achieve in school.  I posed the following question to them.

“What is your sentence for this year at school?”

The answers that I received really surprised me.  I found out things that I did not know about my students.  I felt as though I really got to know some of my students and what they really wanted in life.  This was one of those exercises that really opened my eyes and is one that I will refine and definitely do again.  Click the link below to see the video.This past week I came across a video by Daniel Pink called “Two simple questions that can change your life in 2010”.  This is a video to promote his new book called Drive.  As I watched this video I really began to think about my students and how many of them lack motivation because they do not have a purpose or goal in their lives.  So I decided to use this video as an entry task for my next lesson.  The results were very enlightening and really allowed me to gain some excellent insight about my students.  This is one of those exercises to go into the toolbox for future years to come.

As my students came into my room I told them to get a sheet of paper out.  Once they were all seated and the bell rang I played the video. When the video was complete we discussed motivation and its link to having a purpose.  I used the analogue about a dartboard.  If I do not have a clear goal it is like throwing darts at the dart board with my eyes closed.  I am unable to adjust and get frustrated that I can only hit the board occasionally.  But if I have my eyes open not only do I see what I am aiming at I can make adjustments to increase my chances for success.  After answering questions and making the link between finding what they like to do and using that as motivation to achieve in school.  I posed the following question to them.

“What is your sentence for this year at school?”

The answers that I received really surprised me.  I found out things that I did not know about my students.  I felt as though I really got to know some of my students and what they really wanted in life.  This was one of those exercises that really opened my eyes and is one that I will refine and definitely do again.  Click the link below to see the video.

http://www.danpink.com/archives/2010/01/2questionsvideo

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