Thursday, March 1, 2012
Blog Assignment 6
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture is a lecture he gave near the end of his life, after battling with pancreatic cancer. In this lecture, he speaks about how he accomplished his life dreams, while at the same time imparting some wisdom about how being a good person and doing things the right way can positively effect you and everyone around you. The video was intended for his children, but everything he said can be used by anyone wanting to better themselves and those around them.
Walls exist to test your dedication
Not everything is easy. Many times, things may seem more difficult than they are even worth. But Dr. Pausch believed that when a seemingly impassible obstacle presents itself, it's not necessarily to discourage you; it's there to make sure you truly want to achieve what you set out for yourself. If the going gets tough, the tough get going - so he also says 'Don't complain - work harder!'. As a teacher, many obstacles might come up - administrative and budget constraints, bureaucracy, and other things might make it seem like an uphill battle for an educator. By soldiering onward, and doing your best, not only will you overcome those obstacles, but also you'll get a sense of accomplishment that is unmatched. Keeping a positive attitude and good work ethic will help you realize your goals.
The entire purpose of teaching is to impart knowledge and skills to students, and to help them realize their dreams. Sometimes, students may not meet your expectations - and Dr. Pausch believed that the greatest gift to give a student is the gift of self-reflection. If a student can honestly look at themselves and assess what they excel at, as well as their shortcomings, they can make adjustments in order to succeed. By figuring out what each person is good at, they can become valuable by doing that very action. There IS good in everyone, and as an educator it would be silly not to try and find it.
As future educators, the technologies and teaching strategies that will be available to us is ever changing - and so, too, should we strive to produce cutting edge curriculum in order to facilitate learning in our students. Looking for new ways to teach and learn things can benefit the world. That being said, those who venture into unknown territory should expect to take some flak. There will always be cynics who say that one thing or another 'cannot be done' or 'just won't work', but the only real way to find that out is to try. That's not to say that things should be done without the consent of those above you - but if you truly believe that something is worth your time, then you'll find a way to make it happen.
The best way to accomplish something is to do it with the help of others. In order to get people to help you, you must be truthful with them about what you want to accomplish. You must be willing to work hard. If you make a mistake, acknowledge that mistake and apologize. Focusing on yourself won't help the team - focus on others, and what they're bringing to the table. And be loyal - do things to help others, and they will do things to help you, in turn. And if someone gives you advice, listen. Others generally give advice in order to help you, not harm you - so by listening, you can improve yourself and the task at hand.
The 'Head Fake'
This is a central theme in many of the events Dr. Pausch talks about. The 'head fake' is when it seems that a lesson is about one thing, when actually it's about another. The 'head fake' in football, for example, is learning to be a team player, instead of the implied lesson of how to play the game itself. Alice, a program that appears to teach students how to make movies, has a 'head fake' - while making movies, one actually learns to program computers. By integrating an educational lesson into engaging tasks, we can ignite creativity and inspire learning by engrossing students in tasks they enjoy.