Throughout my 17 years of teaching, I have consistently maintained one goal: to show kids how cool nature is and how it works. This is much easier said than done when all you have at your disposal is a whiteboard, a textbook and a boxy fluorescent-lit room. I quickly recognized technology as a valuable tool to help me bring the real world into the classroom. I started showing scanned photos on the school's lone LCD projector I borrowed from the library. A few years later a $110 Flipcam purchase lead to making my own science videos. Around that time an explosion of video content on YouTube coincided with a Smartboard being installed in my classroom. All of the sudden, so much was so readily available. I finally started seeing kids engaged in what I was teaching the way I had always hoped. The power of video in the classroom hit me over the head and videos have grown to be a indispensable teaching tool for me. Below are 3 of my current video-centric projects focused on science education.
MisterGazda YouTube Channel
With low production values and an even lower budget, I filmed these basic videos over the years to show my students science that's beyond the walls of the classroom. Slick it certainly is not, but the "real" nature of the videos seems to draw students in. This playlist is a good place to start. And the channel trailer does a good job conveying the overall vibe of the channel.
Short for "Teacher in Your Living Room", TYLR Homework uses video to deal with some of the biggest problems with homework. This is how it works:
I started this project in Fall of 2014 and I've seen it help alleviate some of the main problems of traditional homework, such as:
Check out a video overview of HW videos here.
The YouTube page is here: GazdaHW
This site is designed to provide hand-picked science video clips for teachers to use during class. The main goal is bring the real world into the classroom and to connect the science taught in the classroom to real life and the world around us.