Now I want to flip Dave's message upside-down:
- the "Gift Shop" of extra resources, books, toys, and interactions is the classroom (group learning space)
- the "thrill ride" that introduces ideas and inspires curiosity ... that's the homework (the individual space).
We can't all be as engaging and energetic as Dave Burgess, certainly not for multiple 45+ minute class periods per day. It seems unreasonable to expect most classroom/shared-space experiences to be as exciting and eye-catching as a thrill ride. Even if you can achieve that level of awesomeness, I still have some questions:
- What about kids who were out sick that day and missed the super-cool 'thrill ride' presentation?
- How about students who were physically present but not fully checked-in for emotional, cognitive, attentional, or other reasons?
- Maybe the class experience went too fast or too slow for some kids, or triggered an invisible pain ... will these kids care about the 'gift shop' homework?
I get Dave's main point about making homework assignments appealing, relevant, and engaging for students. Worksheet packets definitely suck. However, I still don't think it's worth the energy and effort required to turn my classroom into an amusement park. That would not solve the challenges presented by a widely-heterogeneous student population, the school schedule that gives just ~45 minutes/day of classroom time, the variable quality of support staff, and my personal desire to pursue universal content & skill mastery of the essentials for all students.
Just think: you watched Dave Burgess's short video on your own time (and read at least part of this blog post) at your own convenience. Maybe you're on a stationary bike, or in a cafe, or at your kitchen table -- someplace comfortable for you. You replayed any section you wanted to. You adjusted the volume of his voice, and maybe paused the playback when he made a funny face. -- That's the wonder of the individual-learning-space.
If you're still interested, then I bet you would love to enter a group-learning-space of like-minded people. We could discuss Dave's ideas, share our own analogies, swap links or research studies ... that's our flipping "gift shop" (because we're pedagogy geeks)!! The homework/individual activity encouraged you to learn and do more, which might be possible with the power of teleportation. #summergoals
Nevertheless, Dave Burgess's video reminded me that some of my video lessons are too boring. I can't sustain his energy for 45+ minute class periods, but if I display a little more in a 7 or 10 minute video clip then that might pull more students to join the "gift shop" of classroom experiences: relevant role-plays, deeper discussions, personal projects, etc.
Please tell me what you think in the comments. Did I go too flipping far? Not far enough?