Engaging Students for Meaningful Learning

Nate Brown Blog

bored with book-15584_960_720Interacting creatively with lesson material is an extremely effective route to meaningful learning because it engages students. At 30hands, we realize the difficulty and the impact of keeping students engaged. Many teachers have their own methods of drawing students in, but all too often students remain indifferent to the lesson before them. In the 10th grade I had a teacher, Mr. Hardy, who used unorthodox methods to engage the class. His ways were peculiar, but his lessons were unforgettable. You can read more about it here.

It was 7th period, the end of a long day at Cold Spring Harbor High School. As we filed into our sultry physics classroom, a wave of apathy fell over the class. Every one of us felt the lethargy take its hold, and some students could bare it no longer.

“Mr. Hardy, we don’t want to do anything today!” several students chimed as our physics teacher bound vibrantly into the room. Mr. Hardy joked and prodded affectionately at the class to muster some focus.

… Nothing.

We refused to budge. Mr. Hardy looked at us, realized this, and rather unexpectedly said, “Fine! You know what, that’s ok! But if we aren’t going to learn, then we are going to have some fun!” Right then, he pulled a desk forward from the first row of desks in the classroom, as if to create a driver’s seat for the rest of the rows of desks.

“Give me just one minute!” He shouted out to the class, disappearing into his classroom closet. In a moment, Mr. Hardy bounced back into the classroom, wearing a ridiculous wig and sunglasses. He threw on loud rock music, drew a road on the chalkboard, and took his driver’s seat at the front of the class. Making screech sounds and car noises, he pretended to haul the class around in an imaginary car. The whole class joined in, leaning to and fro as we took the windy curves at high speeds.man-959833_1920

We loved it. We had no idea what our crazy teacher was doing, but we loved every second of it. As the period went on, Mr. Hardy told us about the physical forces that affected us as we drove, about centripetal force, friction and so forth. Like all good teachers, he tied our lesson back into the fun, and we were ok with it.

That day, Mr. Hardy successfully dealt with one of the hardest struggles in teaching; he took an uninspired class, and turned it into an interested and engaged class. The result was one of the most memorable lessons of my life. The impact of engagement is everything in the classroom. However, one doesn’t need a wig and loud music to engage students!

Mr. Hardy went far above and beyond to get his students involved in the lesson, but teachers can’t be expected to do this everyday! That’s why 30hands provides an interactive way of presenting lesson material.

By having students create unique educational videos, 30hands puts the learning in the hands of the student. Through enabling students to interact with the lesson to communicate their own understanding of it, 30hands brings fun and individuality into the classroom. Students can then watch one another’s 30hands videos and interpret someone else’s spin on the lesson material.

Engagement is everything in education! Having students experiment with 30hands videos to communicate lesson-relevant material produces tangible learning and enjoyment for students. Add a new tool to your engagement tool belt with 30hands!

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