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Why Should Students Show Up to Class?



Will Lester graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Secondary Education. He enjoys writing about current trends and innovations in education, leadership and traveling. He is currently an Outdoor Education teacher in Europe and has spent that past two years traveling around the world teaching multiple different subjects. He is currently looking at going back to school and acquiring his masters in Educational Leadership.

Where do you get your information on content or ideas that you present in the classroom?  Some of you educators may say the classroom text book, most of you may be experts on the topic, and few of you will say outside resources that aren’t technology based.  Most of you may be putting together PowerPoint presentations or implementing some sort of slideshow or classroom discussion into your lesson planning.  The online classroom is full of presentations, videos and discussions with the help of companies like Khan Academy and 2U that actually allow you to have virtual face to face exchanges.  So, why should students continue to show up to class when they can learn and gain human interaction online?

Today’s learning process needs experiences.  We are living in an age in which things are done for their experience.  When students think of education we want them to think of the things that they did and the experiences that they had that showed them something that they didn’t know, not the mental image of sitting in a classroom looking at a slideshow and taking notes that they are only going to review just before a test.  Some students are able to retain information this way, but we are figuring out that most learn through other methods.flipping the classroom

Here is something that I tried and although not all students were into it, most students were engaged and enjoyed it.

Flipping the classroom is something that I tried in my own Economics classroom a few years ago.  I allowed students to choose their own groups with a signup sheet on topics that could be presented based on the district’s curriculum for that unit.  I would then hand out a ‘point sheet’ that would let the students know that they would get certain points if certain resources were used.  For example, if the students used other students to explain or walk through an idea or term, then they would gain a certain amount of points.  If they were able to create an in class activity they would be given a higher amount of points.  The students were told that the more engaging the presentation then the more points they would be given.

Points would not reflect student grades.  The students would be given credit based on thought, effort and creativity.  Sometimes an idea was creative but didn’t work. I allowed these presentations to earn points based on their efforts of trying something new, because I felt that students should be rewarded for stepping outside the box.  We want to mold students into innovators and creative thinkers, not people who know how to recite facts that everyone else can look up.

I felt this unit went really well and it something that I will implement once I am back in the classroom again.  

What type of experiences and strategies do you use to engage students and make their time in class truly worth it? Have you tried flipping your classroom?


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Posted @ Friday, February 28, 2014 1:31 AM by Sam
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