ESSENTIAL QUESTION: HOW DO WE KEEP OUR LESSONS ENGAGING? DOES INNOVATION PLAY A PART IN THIS?
I believe engagement is always changing. What works for one class may not work for another. With that being said, I do believe there are techniques that promote engagement such as: mixing up your teaching style, getting rid of "dead time" or having students collaborate to name a few (De Frondeville, 2009). You can also engage students by showing how excited you are to teach them. As Burgess (2012) says "passion is all about being on fire in front of your class. I’m fond of the quote, 'Light yourself on fire with enthusiasm and people will come from miles around just to watch you burn!'" Findlater (2013) argues that for a lesson to be engaging it must weave together fun and learning. She advocates for the use of visuals, audio, or props to help bring students in. These kinds of things can give students something to talk about. Engagement is about providing a new experience for students and I wholeheartedly believe innovation is key.
We can think about innovation if we think about pirates. A pirate is someone who is okay with being unconventional and changing things up. They are after one thing: treasure. Burgess (2012) advocates that teachers need to embrace this philosophy where we are after making school "fun" for students. Almost all pirates have hooks so to embrace this philosophy we need to hook our students to fully engage them. If we do this then everyone will receive the "treasure" which is a love for learning.
In my quest to fully understand what I was reading I googled David Burgess and Outrageous Teaching: Teach Like a Pirate. I found 2 video links the first one is below. I can read all I want, but I couldn't get a sense of the person writing it. The videos really helped put me in the right mindset and allowed my reading to come alive.
On a side note, Teach Like Pirate really made me think of the gamification class I took last semester. Every idea he threw out made me think of some aspect of gamification. He advocates for hooking students and drawing them in. I can't help but wonder if his classroom provides units that are gamified? I know he has aspects of it, but they seem to be separate an not tied together. I really wish I could witness one of his classes but the YouTube video helped me to get an idea.
Burgess, D. (2012). Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost your Creativity, and Transform your Life as an Educator [Kindle].
Burgess, D. [TEDx Talks]. (2013, November 05). Teach like a pirate: David Burgess at TEDxLitchfieldED. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-c3-tdSo6s.
De Frondeville, T. (2009, August 03). How to Keep Kids Engaged in Class. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/classroom-student-participation-tips
Findlater, S. (2013, August 07). A teacher's guide to immersive lessons. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/aug/07/teaching-immersive-engaging-lessons