These videos provide a great deal of information that we as students can learn to adapt and use in our own classrooms once we become teachers. In the first video "Back to the Future" Brian Crosby discusses how his students are second language learners, and how they are also considered students of poverty. Brian Crosby took a survey on the first day of school and received shocking statistics about the lack of knowledge his students knew when it came to their personal lives, such as city name, country name, and even home address. Crosby took many interesting ways to bring his students into learning and being excite about it. One way Crosby did this was the can crushing experiment, or the tissue on fire rising instead of burning at ground level. The bringing of students into the experiments and asking questions related to the experiments are ultimately what keeps the students engaged in what they are learning. One big project that was discussed during this video was the high altitude balloon that was being sent up. It allowed the students to create a Wiki and compose questions as to what would happen since it was hydrogen filled versus hot air filled.
What this project did was allow the students to get engaged with this project, the teachers approach to this project allowed the students to be hands on. The students were able to send "their high hopes" up with the balloon when it was sent off. The students high hopes are what they wish would happen, to them or change in the world. Some high hopes that were mentioned were "to do better in a certain class", or "for the violence to stop in Bangkok Thailand" the last high hope was sent in from a student in Bangkok that the class had contact with. The fact the students and other students who where not even in the same country was also able to send up their high hopes. The students were also required to write a story of them selves in the balloons perspective when it blew up. The teacher requiring the students to write a story like this allowed for the student to think outside of the box, which again engages the student and keeps their interest.
In the second video "Blended Learning Cycle" Paul Andersen who is an AP biology teacher explains what blended learning and the learning cycle is. Blended learning is the combining of online, mobile, and classroom, and the learning cycle is engage, explore, explain, expand, and evaluate. Andersen states that the learning cycle is a great way to teach science. He says this because he is able to ask questions that will draw in the students in the Engage part. The students are then able to look into the answers of this question by brainstorming, and discussion with the class. In the explain aspect the students can explain why they feel their conclusions are plausible. In the expand part the teacher is encouraging the students to further expand their thinking and branch off of ideas gathered in the previous steps. And lastly the evaluate part this is the students and the teacher looking over the final conclusions of the students. When the blended learning, and the learning cycle are put together you get the Blended Learning Cycle. Andersen used the acronym Q.U.I.V.E.R.S to further describe the Blended Learning Cycle (BLC). Q & U- stands for question, which means that you start off with a really good question to get the BLC started. I- stands for investigation or inquiry, meaning the student then investigates what the question is and gathers information that can be used to expand the questions boarders. V- stands for video, Andersen used the video aspect to give video instruction to the students. E- stands for elaboration, this means that the students will return back to what they were investigating, the students are required to elaborate on their investigating and look into reading material and diagrams that might have reference to what they are looking into. R- stands for review which Andersen uses this time to meet with the students either individually or in small groups. He does this to check the students understanding of the question he has asked them to answer, and if they do not understand he sends them back to figure it out again. He also will not let them take the summary quiz until he knows for sure they understand what is going on. And lastly the S- stands for summary quiz, the summary quiz is a quiz that is a summary on what this learning cycle project was based on and the conclusions that were reached.
This new way of blending the learning cycle and blended learning is a great thing, it allows the students to look at things a new way, and further helps the students with abstract thinking skills. These projects will not always be a cut and dry answer they will require thinking o a much broader level that will be achieved by this idea.
In the video Sam Pane 4th grade- the teacher Mr. Pane is requiring his students to make comics with their own superheros that will guide others into safer ways of using the internet. The idea of creation comics was a wonderful idea, children love superheros and the fact that they are able to create their own proved this project to be even better. Kids might know that there are unsafe ways on the internet but they might not know why some of those things are unsafe. The teacher stressed the importance of not sharing personal information and some of the students eve incorporated this into their comics, which means that they understood what the teacher was saying.
The last two videos talked about PBL also knows as Project Based Learning. The videos were endorsing the idea of PBL and saying that it is the way to go for any teachers, because it allows for the students to work on their own and in groups which allows them to be independent at times, and also improves their group social skills. Those are just a few reasons why PBL is gaining more and more popularity with teachers and stuents as well.