Monday, January 20, 2014

Lessons from Feeny: Utilizing Technology

I am currently re-watching the entire Boy Meets World series (thanks to my wonderful boyfriend). If you never saw the show, it is a typical 90's sitcom but better. Yes, it is situation comedy at its best but it does more than that by making sure they tell the coming of age story of Corey and his friends as they go through high school and eventually college.

Somehow, Cory, his friends, and even Corey's older brother Eric, all have the same teacher each year. Mr. Feeny is his name and he is such a great teacher that I want to be him.

No really.

I want to be a Mr. Feeny type of teacher.

Okay, not in the sense of me having the same students year after year, but in his teaching style and what he teaches his students for life outside of the classroom.

I mean look at this awesome speech

(note: Corey, Shawn, and Topanga are on a quiz show that used to be very highly academic and now it is all based upon pop culture)

Later in the episode, the three realize that Feeny is right. That the "information" they are learning isn't very useful to them in the real world.

Now, we could get into a discussion about if students really need to learn about Gutenberg or not but Feeny does bring up an amazing point.

My students know how to use Twitter, SnapChat, Tumblr, and basically every other social network in existence with no problem at all. Yet, when I ask them to do research, they stare at me blankly. They don't know how to utilize the tool given to them in order to enrich themselves. They just know how to make sure their selfie is seen by hundreds of people.

Imagine if they harnessed that power and ability to learn more. Not just learn more about Gutenberg but maybe learn more about the things that interest them (beyond reality TV). I want my students to see their laptops as more than just game centers. I want them to see them as a gateway to learning. I want them to learn about things that will help them like creativity. I want them to imagine and design using the technology they know so well. I want them to better themselves not dumb themselves down.

I want to be like Feeny and teach my students this. I just need to figure out how.

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