Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Using Popular YouTube Videos to Engage Students in Critical Thinking

There are some incredible YouTube Channels for almost every content area and grade level. Many of these are incredibly well done and have a lot of potential to engage students in essential concepts and ideas. I've even shared some of my favorites in the past. Still, the use of these videos in many eLearning experiences is still mainly about the consumption of content. Content matters, but I think we can do much more with YouTube than just distribute content.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Incredibox Brain Breaks - Curious Engagement Matters

I've tried to create a variety of different activities to engage my students as we learn more about best practices for remote learning. Some of the activities have gone very well and some not as well as I hoped. I was a bit stressed about this until Hank Thiele put this all into perspective for me. If you've not read Hank's Twitter post, I would recommend taking a quick look at Twitter here

Hank's tweets served as a great reminder that more than anything else, I want my students to explore new things and be curious. I want them to be curious about something, even if it isn't connected to my content. When you get right down to it my content only matters if my students are interested. Engagement in learning something new is what matters most. 
While I will continue to explore different ways to engage students in Environmental Science, I am excited to find unique ways to engage them in learning regardless of the content. This is why I am excited about an activity that I initially posted as an enrichment activity.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Remote Learning Resources - KQED Learn and More

I've long been a fan of the KQED Mindshift Blog, but I have to admit that I've never taken much of a deep dive into some of the incredible resources they have for teachers and learners. There are some incredible resources beyond the education post that are made for lifelong learners.

Virtual Field Trip Resources

Field trips have long been an important part of the learning experience for many students and schools. There are very few things that are more fun than taking a break from the normal routine for teachers and students. Amazing learning can also happen outside of the classroom. These experiences are still limited by time, space, and money. This is where virtual field trips can step in and fill in some gaps. Virtual field trips have incredible power to break down the walls of our classroom to engage students in exploring our world.
"Field trips are informal learning experiences that get students out into the world, exploring the world and students' interests. Trips to museums, parks, historical sites, and more show students that learning (and life) happens outside the classroom, too. During field trips, students discover new things and learn in authentic environments, placing classroom content into new contexts. Unfortunately, for many schools and students, field trips are rare (if they happen at all). Thankfully, there are great games, apps, and websites that can bring places and experiences fostered by field trips to the classroom. While not an outright replacement, these field trip tools can offer inspiring and intriguing experiences for students." (Common Sencse Media)

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