Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blog Post 7

Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.
a word cloud in the shape of an apple formed from the words in Randy Pausch's lecture
Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He created the Alice software project that allows creation of computer animations in a drag and drop form which is accessible for children. This video is a lecture about living your life in such a way that your dreams become achievable. Dr. Pausch certainly embodied this with his joyful approach to learning and his unfailing optimism.
"Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. You’ve got to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn’t going to work."
— Randy Pausch
Dr. Pausch uses his experience with football to teach the importance of learning fundamentals. This can be applied to so many of the challenges we face as teachers. When we begin the school year we have to be sure that the students are performing at at least their grade level. If they start out without the skills to build upon they will struggle all year and it's very difficult to have fun when you're struggling to understand the instructions. He referred to learning about playing football as a "headfake". The headfake is one of my favorite ideas from the video. The idea is, that students learn one thing while they think they are doing another. This is a great way to inspire students to reflect and to discover on their own.
"When we're connected to others, we become better people."
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
As a professor Dr. Pausch created a course in which students were put into several groups each semester and asked to create virtual worlds. He spoke in his lecture about the importance of learning to work with others. By allowing our students to work with others not only are we teaching them to cooperate but we are giving them a chance to help and be helped by their peers. If one student has skills that another lacks they can gain confidence and increase their own understanding of the topic by explaining it to the other student. Then at another point the roles will reverse so that each students is a teacher and a pupil greatly increasing the students' opportunities to learn.
"Find the best in everybody. Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you. It might even take years, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting."
— Randy Pausch
I loved this quote. When we come into a classroom it is our responsibility to believe in all of our students. I think every teacher has that one student who is always acting out or shows no interest in our lessons or their work. We have to continue to work to reach these students. It is our job to figure out what motivates our students and not dismiss them simply because it is difficult to motivate them.
"Never underestimate the importance of having fun. I’m dying and I’m having fun. And I’m going to keep having fun every day because there’s no other way to play it." - Randy Pausch
I was so excited when Dr. Pausch talked about the Alice project. Teaching kids how to program while they are having fun creating stories is such an amazing idea. I think the number one responsibility we have as teachers is to teach our students to love learning. We have to inspire our students to seek out knowledge on their own and we have to give them to tools to find and use that knowledge.


  1. Megan,
    I thought this video was great! I thought it was a great point you made about fundamentals, about how we need to make sure our students are at the level they need to be. If the student is not at the level they should be it would make it very hard for them to keep up all year. If we did not get the correct information at first we could come to the wrong conclusions about that students performance.
    The quote that you put in here about finding the best in everybody is something as educators we will need to remember. Like you said there will always be a student who is acting out or not doing there lessons, but as educators we should not give up on them. Instead we need to help them succeed any way we can.I thought this video overall was a very up lifting video to watch. I like Randy Pausch I think it is important to have fun in everything you do. I hope that I can always call myself a Tigger not a Eeyore

  2. Randy Puasch's attitude is what I want every teach to have about education and life! He has been such a great influence on me, and I hope he will be to you also.

    Stephen Akins