Khan’s Challenge

Sal Khan recently issued a challenge for others to make better videos.  Well, Derek Muller already has.  Yet, even Derek’s videos aren’t what I hope for in education.  Derek at least acknowledges students’ misconceptions and uses experience to drive instruction rather than a modern-day chalkboard.  Yet, his videos are limited because he is not interacting with the student – he’s interacting with someone in the video, but the student might have different thinking.

Now, a teacher trying to work with the individual thinking of one student is ideal, but not very practical. Whether making videos or running a classroom, getting inside every learner’s head is likely impossible.  Yet, in a real world, and real time classroom there is a better chance of exploring the dynamic thinking of student than in a video.  So, here is a link to a bunch of videos I made when I was teaching 8th Grade Earth Science last year.  While I don’t claim to be getting at each students thinking, I am working to react to their thoughts rather than plow through my lesson plan.  Yet, we still did cover the district curriculum.  And I bet the students enjoyed it.  So, please, take a look.  Let me know what you think.

I’ll leave you with one final point made by my friend Frank Noschese: Good teaching may not be as entertaining as bad teaching.  You’ll see what we mean when you watch the videos.  These videos won’t go viral.  These videos document the idiosyncratic ways in which a classroom runs.  They were not made to get and hold your attention, they lessons we conducted to help students refine their thinking.

Again, so as to avoid “cherry picking” here is the link to a bunch of my videos.

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