Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beatrice Meets Stodgy Opposition

A student in my class, let's call her Beatrice had an idea during a discussion from our activity about schools of the future. Bea's father is a college professor, and he complains that students are on facebook in his class while he is giving his lecture. I asked if Beatrice thinks we should take computers out of the class, and she said no, but she didn't know what to tell her father. I suggested maybe the way lectures happen in a classroom need to change. She thought about this.

Bea came up with an idea of changing classes around; not at her fathers school, but at ours. She thought it would be good if her Social Studies teacher did his lesson on video, and had the kids watch it the night before. Then they would do their work in class, instead of doing their written work as homework. This would make homework less tedious, and you would get better support on your written work because you were doing it in class. I thought Bea was pretty smart.

When we had face to face discussions, no one seemed to think it was a very good idea. They thought that kids would skip the video and then just go to class. Bea responded that they wouldn't be able to participate without having watched the lesson as they wouldn't know what was going on in class.

I wonder what it was about the idea they didn't like? I don't think I got a clear answer.

The Social Studies teacher thought it was just like doing prescribed readings the night before. But, when I offered to help him film and post the videos, and suggested we not begin until these report cards are over, he said that he would give it a try. I could see the wheels turning already.

I think Bea's idea is visionary. I think a video is worth a lot, and if it was a short video to act as a companion to reading, highlighting and pre-teaching important concepts and vocabulary, kids would read and watch the videos on a regular basis making homework a regular part of their day.

Maybe that's the part of Beatrice's idea they didn't like? Going home to go to class, and going to class to do homework. I still think it's brilliant.

(apologies for any mistakes. Typing late in a prone position ...zzzzzz)


MrsE said...

Beatrice might like to read about this successful experiment in a Colorado high school class
Here's a newscast about the program

James Gill said...

What a timely comment. I will be speaking with Bea and the Social Studies teacher tomorrow, and they will both be quite excited to read about the interesting developments that are happening in other parts of the world, where teachers and students are applying the same idea. Thanks for commenting.

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book said...

yes smart learning. and class do not play facebook