What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?
This video was possibly one of the most inspirational videos I have ever seen. Randy Pausch was a positive and enthusiastic speaker and you could really tell he was passionate about his work. In his lecture he covered different times of his life that influenced who he was as well as people that influenced him. One story he told that interested me was when he was young and played football. He said that his coach was very focused on fundamentals and that this is what they worked on most of football practice. Though at the time he didn't see it, he later realized that this helped him in football as well as his life. You have to get the fundamentals down before you can jump into the big stuff. This is a great lesson to use in the classroom since you need to have students get the fundamentals down before you expect them to tackle bigger projects. Pausch also said that he was not that good at football and that his coach would ride him to do better. The assistant coach noticed that Pausch was feeling upset and told Pausch that the coach was only doing this because he wanted him to do his best. The assistant coach said that "when your screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they gave up." I believe that this quote is a good one to live by and remember as a teacher. You always want to push your students to do their best because if you stop pushing them they will realize you gave up on them and will give up on themselves.
Another lesson that I learned from Paush was his brick wall theory. He said that "the brick walls are there to show us how badly we want things, they will not stop those who want it badly enough." This is just an amazing quote to remember when life gets tough or you get frustrated with the cards you are dealt in life. This is an awesome learning experience for children and adults since things will come up in life that might change the course of what you were trying to accomplish. Those who want it badly enough will overcome these obstacles and reach there goals.
Pausch also gave examples of how much students enjoy project based learning. He told how his classes were set up for his masters students and how they went above and beyond what he had expected. His classes are set up to where students do five projects in a semester that are two weeks long. Students were to present these projects to just the classroom, but the project grew. Soon the whole school, parents, and friends where involved in viewing what his students had accomplished. Students were excited and eager to share there work with everyone and the projects they created were amazing. In the video you can see one of the projects that his students made that even has a little twist to it. These projects helped lead to the creation of ALICE which is a virtual reality program that young students can use to help learn difficult concepts. Children have fun since learning is approached as a story-telling activity, and may even forget that they are learning. I learned so much from Randy Pausch's last lecture that I can not even begin to list it all. Watching this video really does give you a different outlook on how to approach teaching and learning. I recommend that anyone going into education or currently teaching view this video.