The Martian was my favorite movie in 2015. The science in the movie was fascinating. The movie did a beautiful job recruiting high school students to Botany. Think about it… How to create crops in an environment that’s not your average Earth atmosphere was fascinating. How do you trick the plants, to have the grow… How to create water to water your plants in the atmosphere of Mars… This movie could really speak volumes and volumes about how fascinating the sciences are… Though my knowledge is limited in these areas, I was intrigued by the movie… I thought it was really cool. This movie will pull-out the aspiring astronaut, scientist, and botanist out of the audience…
But why can The Martian do that, and a lot of our lectures in schools, colleges, and universities not do that? As Robert Talbert mentioned in Four Things Lecture is Good For , he stated that the traditional uses of lectures today are oftentimes not aligned with what lectures should be used for. He said that lectures aren’t made to help students regurgitate new information if you would, because there are 4 better uses for lectures in his view. Some things he mentioned are teaching students how to think, and teaching them things in a creative fashion that individuals with a lot of experience can come up with, but the average student probably wouldn’t come up with. And 2 more things here. However, unfortunately, up till today, we have lectures where some professors, especially in Math, choose to lecture to the board… And expect their students to decipher what they’re doing through the equations they’re putting on the board.
In “What Video Games Teach Us”, I was really thinking about how rewarding and enjoyable video games are… Some people have experienced video games at times, while others constantly have fun with them. As the author mentions, the analogy he posed is valid, regarding how society influences how we think and learn… And how sometimes we are willing to do something that’s counter-intuitive to our nature.. Especially in the cognitive sense.
That’s what got me thinking… if we can somehow inspire our students the way they are inspired by good teachers, by video games, and by movies like The Martian… We can get our teaching and learning at the best levels possible.