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I am a student at the University of South Alabama, College of Education. My husband Brian and I have been married since 2004, and in 2010 welcomed our son Deigan. I also work full-time as the Marketing Specialist for a local Real Estate company.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Learning from the Leaders...

In last weeks blog, we had the opportunity to watch several videos of Sir Ken Robinson from the prestigious TED Conferences. The speakers who are invited to the TED Conference are considered to be the leaders in their field and are well respected by their peers. We have each chosen a video to discuss. Here are our thoughts…

Khan Academy
Salman Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education

Founded by Salman Khan, the Khan Academy is a fantastic tool that can be used in the classroom to boost students learning and allows them to go at their own pace. Khan spoke about the creation of the Khan Academy at the 2011 TED Conference in Long Beach, California. What started out to be a way for one cousin to help the other, turned into a multi-media, educational powerhouse used by millions of users each month.

So what exactly is the Khan Academy? Basically the Khan Academy is a resource tool with thousands of videos covering hundreds of topics. Teachers can create "subject" folders and invite students to participate in this unique learning experience. The site is integrated with a "gaming" type software that engages the interest of students and provides positive yet constructive feedback on their progress. Teachers are able to go in and see each students progress and address any issues the students are having on an individual basis. This advanced monitoring system also allows the teacher more time to address those problems areas instead of spending time on lessons that the students are grasping more quickly.

khan academy
One of the many great points that Khan pointed out in his video what his thought that often so many students are taught a lesson, then tested and receive a passing grade of 85%, and swiftly moved on to the next lesson. What about the 15% they didn't comprehend enough to answer correctly on the test? In response to this the developers at the Khan Academy decided to integrate the before mentioned "gaming" software. The "gaming" or "testing" area is used to gauge students comprehension. The students are given a series of 10 questions and when the students are able to correctly answer all 10 correct in a row, they are given "badges". This fun, rewarding system keeps the students excited about learning and entices them to do better in order to move forward and receive a specific badge. The students in essence are mastering a lesson while having fun!

How can this be applied in my classroom? I really like to idea Khan mentioned where teachers are assigning the video lessons as homework and the students are actively participating on lessons in the classroom. The "flip" allows the teacher more time to interact with the students and gets the classroom collaborating and helping one another. Something else I think would be a neat idea is to after each lesson, divide the students in groups and allow them to create their own lesson video and present it to the class. This could be a unique way to grade students on a variety of subjects and provides more valuable time learning more about the various "tech" tools they will be using.

When used as a tool in the classroom, the Khan Academy can be extremely useful and is certainly a site that I anticipate utilizing in my classroom.

Author: Hilliary Sanders

Shukla Bose
The video I chose was Teaching one child at a time by: Shukla Bose. Educating the poor is more than just a numbers game, says Shukla Bose. She tells the story of her groundbreaking Parikrma Humanity Foundation, which brings hope to India's slums by looking past the daunting statistics and focusing on treating each child as an individual.

We as united states citizens, live in a country where education is a right, not a privilege. Every child in the USA has an education, no matter if it is public or private. If you stop to think about it, some small percentage of the country might not get the education that we do. We constantly see that you must have a college degree or higher to even be competitive in the adult job world. Shukla Bose, is trying to provide this for the children of India and in the process, giving them and their families hope for the future.

Shukla Bose, made an excellent point, by saying that not all children get the proper upbringing or chance to foresee their future. Building these schools in the poor part of India will deeply increase the results for learning and a better future for these children. Ms. Bose created this idea and giving these children hope. They are going to be challenged and have the opportunity like every other child to go to college and become successful. Some of the mothers were interviewed and gave insight on the change the school had brought to their children. Most children thought they did not have a future and felt basically hopeless. Now the children believe in themselves, and know that they will have a future just like everyone else. Ms. Bose has given the parents opportunities to be involved with their children. Eighty percent of the parents are actively involved in the schools and want their children to learn and be successful. It really touched my heart, that these kids are able to go to school and gain so much knowledge and when they get home everyday teach their parents.

It is truly amazing that Ms.Bose has come such a long way with these kids in just a few years. Her ultimate challenge is to make her kids strong and competitive in the economy and give them some kind of backbone in the real world. She not only teaches her kids english but teaches them to shoot for the stars and reach for their dreams. By these children achieving their goal, maybe this will end poverty and ignorance that holds people in a state of hopelessness.

Author: Claire Williams

no bully
The video I chose to watch was Shane Koyczan: To This Day ... for the bullied and beautiful. His humorous and realistic approach to hopes and dreams was so captivating and moving. Even as a young adult, I can easily remember thing that classmates would say about me but thankfully, I was strong enough to know that no one else can determine my destiny but me. Koyczan’s spoken word poem addresses the reality of what children deal with on a daily basis. We often ask children what do they want to be what do they like, and what do they think but criticize and push our opinions on them. How can we tell student ‘you can be whatever you want to be’ but at the same time tell them, “that’s not what you want to do”, or “you can’t do that”. Especially as future educators we must always uplift and encourage students.

As a future educator, it just reminds me that children deal with bullying and tormenting in a different manner than adults do. The cruel and mean comments stick with children. For some, it may help motivate them and for others it could cause them to shut down and not try to achieve their goals and dreams. To hear positive encouraging words make a world of a difference. You must be mindful of the words you say to students and to help build their self-esteem.

I would encourage all of my colleagues to watch this video. While it doesn’t introduce new ways of teaching, it is an awesome reminder that bullying still exists, verbally and physically.

Author: Lauren Patterson

BP Thirteen - Collaborative Assignment


  1. Hi Hillary, I am commenting on your section of this post. I only watched a few minutes or her presentation and I believe you summed it up nicely. I couldn't find any errors, but you did spell Bose "Bode" in the first sentence of the third paragraph. Other than that it was done quite nicely.

  2. That was actually Claire's section, but I will let my group know to make the changes. Thanks for bringing it to our attention Secoria!

  3. This comment applies to your portion of the post.

    Good! I saw a few typos, though, so be sure to proofread before you publish!