“Aww, how cute.”
It was a teacher work day and we were at home watching educational YouTube videos of cute animals. It began with an email letting me know that our new little lion cubs at the Oregon Zoo had their first health check. Since we didn’t even know that we had new lion cubs, we of course had to check out the video.
For any of you who have been on YouTube, you know how easy it is to move from watching videos of lion cubs, to elephants playing, to a baby koala eating leaves, to a buffalo jumping on a trampoline. It’s a great marketing model and made me think, what would school be like if we could take advantage of a child’s (okay, or adult’s) short attention span and link off to new areas of connected learning.
Maybe it would look like the 4 through 8 charter school my daughter just started going to. Take, for example, their first semester theme: Survival. They have taken this theme all the way into their social world (forming teams which compete for tools of survival in order to build teamwork and friendships. In literature they are reading survival books, like Hatchet.
But wait, there’s a shiny object – when Hatchet encounters a tornado (shhh, don’t tell my daughter, she hasn’t read that part yet:>) they link off and begin learning about how a tornado is formed in science …. Ooooh, another shiny
object- spirals. In art they begin learning about how to draw spirals and then in math, what does that look like. It is a model which millions of people who use YouTube recognize as working.
But, in case you haven’t experienced this phenomenon, I’ll get you started. Here’s the YouTube video on the baby lions and a link to another video with elephants playing (seriously, you have to watch it, it is too cute).
I’d love to hear where you go from there. And if you end up at the YouTube video of me visiting Vikingsholm or kicking field goals let me know which bright shiny objects got you there.
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