November 30th, 2011

Rage Comics Teach English

Rage comics have been giving Internet users (mainly on Reddit and 4chan) a way to share humorous stories with each other, all tied together by dozens of common face templates conveying a number of different emotions, from joy, to embarrassment, to, well, rage

But it was an English teacher-slash-Redditor, Scott Stillar, who saw an opportunity to use these comics to teach English to his Japanese-speaking students. Hilarity ensued, and the comics were so successful they became their own subreddit, called EFL comics. You can read a blog post about the process HERE.

November 27th, 2011

If you’re having a nice, lazy Sunday, why not take some time out for an English lesson? The Open University's History of English is a little over 10 minutes long, quite informative, and happens to also be hilarious. Covering everything from Anglo-Saxons to the Internet, you can learn what Shakespeare, King James and Issac Newton all have in common. After that, check out some other videos from them, most of them giving a humorous and interesting take on just about any subject.

November 20th, 2011

Can’t Ask Teacher - Call And Response

This project was designed as a sort of social experiment inspired by Robot Heart Stories to give students a chance to communicate across geographical and age boundaries. Created by teacher Bethan Marlow, young students from Evelyn Saunders’ Australian class had a chance to ask teenage students in Wales questions under the assignment, “write down a question that you can’t ask your teacher.” The older kids on the other side of the world then recorded their answers, with the help of some Heartpacks, giving them a chance to act as mentors to younger kids.

November 18th, 2011

Sixth Grader Teaches Peers How to Build Apps

Redefining the face of teachers…

From GOOD:

Where can today’s students go to learn how to make an app? That’s the question Thomas Suarez, a sixth-grader from suburban Los Angeles, asked himself after realizing that most of his peers like to play games and use apps, but schools don’t teach the basic programming skills needed to make them. So Suarez, who taught himself how to make apps using the iPhone software development kit—he created the anti-Justin Bieber, Whac-a-Mole-style game “Bustin Jieber"—decided to start an app club at school.

Read more.

November 16th, 2011

DIY Days Heartpacks

A couple of weeks ago we posted the Heartpacks from the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, where we kicked off Robot Heart Stories. Now we’re bringing things full circle with the Heartpacks from DIY Days LA, where Laika’s journey concluded and we wrapped up. Here’s a few we’d like to share; for more check out the gallery!

November 14th, 2011

Shout-Out: Attendance Records

Austin, Texas is rebooting education in its own way with (what else?) music. It’s known as the Live Music Capital of the World, and it’s this blogger’s old stomping ground. Jenna Carrens came up with the idea last year, and the program gives high school students a chance to develop their creative writing skills and work with Austin’s abundance of bands. The end result will be an album written, designed and produced by the students, and performed by great local bands! They will also receive help from local writers and designers to help them discover and refine their own creative voices. Check out the IndieGoGo page HERE! They have some nice perks for donations too!

November 13th, 2011

We’ve discussed the concept of putting educational videos online before. The Flipped Classroom, developed by teachers Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams takes this idea and brings it full circle, by actually having videos as part of the curriculum, to be watched as homework, and use the classroom to put those concepts to work. I’ve always wondered why we did homework, and the answer that came up was always “because, that’s the way it’s always been.” But why not flip things around, and have lectures at home and “homework” in school? Click through for the bigger version.

November 9th, 2011

Shout-Out: Open Studio

How would artists teach kids the arts? What if some well-known and renowned artists had the opportunity to draw up some lesson plans for students to learn and experience art, and perhaps even provide the inspiration and building blocks to become artists themselves? Mark Bradford, an LA-based artist, founded Open Studio as a means of making arts education accessible to teachers and students. He and several other artists drew up lesson plans in the form of free downloadable PDFs, which include activities for students ranging from kindergarten through high school. The activities give the kids a chance to think and see the world as an artist, each offering a different perspective. Check out the video above, and learn more about it HERE.

November 5th, 2011

And this is the farewell video from the students in Montreal to Laika. Here’s hoping Laika has a safe trip back home! I know everyone involved has learned quite a bit, and not just the students! I mean, I’ve learned a few things myself…

November 5th, 2011

Hey there! We still have a few more videos to share, and I love these animations the students in Montreal keep making. It’s a really cool concept they’ve worked out, and you can see a bit of behind the scenes of this video HERE