I spent my Saturday this past weekend a IWB workshop. I wanted to become more familiar with software. I also wanted to see how teachers used their boards to teach their curriculum. (See previous posts about my obsession with this.)
While there I decided to take a break from hearing about the software and go to a class on wikis, blogs, and Skype. My students are starting holocuast blogs next week so I was interested in hearing how they mangaged them.
Well the word blog never came up. They focused mostly on Skype. That was fine, most teachers in the class had never Skyped so it was nice to sit back and watch them learn. They Skyped a guy from England that worked at the space center there. He asked two questions during the chat, the questions did not bother me but the answers did.
He asked if anyone in the room knew about the elections going on in England. Well I was the only one who did. That was typical I was a political science major so I read about stuff like that. Next he made a comment about smoke and asked if we knew about the volcano in Iceland. The presenter looked at camera and asked “What volcano?” and then others in the class started asking the same!
“WHAT VOLCANO?!” really? This is something any one who teaches science should have discussed last Friday with their students! This is real life teachable moment! Even as I type this post a friend from England (not a teacher) sent me a gchat telling me how he is stuck on a boat in France and first thing he asked was if I talked to my students about it Friday.
It is our responsiblity as teachers to be aware of current events. Kids already are asking “Why do we have to learn this?” If we know what is going on in the world we can connect lessons or past-lessons to it. No, you do not have to the details of the PM election in Great Britain, but a volcano is something kids of all ages understand.
Be aware. It is part of the job.
Side note: Sat my daughter down Friday and showed her news clip of video and she started singing “I don’t know where I’m gonna go when the volcano blow!” Love it!