School’s out Friday

The love affair with John Green continues…

You can’t tell me there’s not at least one common misconception you might have believed that has been now been corrected for you forever more from this Mental Floss video. I think this would be fun to use with kids – I’d like to see if they knew of the misconception, or if most of what they hear here is entirely new to them in the first place!

I held a parent meeting at school today to discuss Digital Citizenship, and one of the things discussed was the fact that our children all seem to love YouTube and can spend hours being ‘distracted’ there. If the distractions they meet are anything like the videos created by John and Hank Green, then my take is that they are worthwhile. They sure beat some of the mind numbing drivel being served up on commercial television of late.

Once again, apologies for the absence here ¬†– did not post School’s out Friday last week if you happened to notice, and am scraping it in tonight at 11.54pm. You never know, a window of opportunity might present itself this weekend and a post may materialise…or, maybe not. I may find myself curled up in a corner, claiming back the sleep I seem to be depriving myself of lately.

Enjoy what comes your way this weekend. Make the most of the fine Autumnal weather we have been promised (if you’re living in Melbourne, that is). ūüôā

 

You are special…and we’re counting on you

So says John Green. Don’t take my word for it. Take a look.

This is John Green’s, ‘An Open Letter to Students Returning to School’, one of his Vlogbrothers entries posted on YouTube. It was my opener for my Year 10 English students today, and it sparked plenty of healthy discussion about what we should be teaching in our classrooms, and what are the skills young people are going to need to be successful in their future lives. After this vibrant, healthy discussion, we had to pick up Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, something John Green would probably consider a waste of time, since Baz Lurhmann has done a pretty good filmic interpretation of it!

What I especially loved about this video was his parting message, that schooling is about me – you need to watch it through to see John’s intent. My kids liked it to. I think it made them reflect, for a moment, about school’s higher purpose, about why they are sitting in rooms learning about Physics, Biology and English.

At the end of the video, John suggests viewers go and visit Crash Course, the YouTube channel he and his brother Hank are developing to support the teaching of Biology and World History. Take a look at John’s treatment of World History (the videos are on a playlist and scroll through) – I think they might keep some of our students a tad more interested than some of the educational videos I’ve seen in the past!

School’s out Friday

This is John Green. He of ‘Looking for Alaska‘ fame. He of the number 1 position on the New York Times Bestseller list for Children’s chapter books right now for ‘The Fault in our Stars‘. He of ‘Vlogbrothers‘ fame on YouTube.

OK. Unless you’re a Teacher-Librarian you probably have no idea who John Green is. But if you watch this video, you’ll get a sense of the kind of guy he is. He’s fun. He writes novels that teenagers love. He’s an author who understands how to use social media well to engage a new kind of audience. He’s someone modeling the new ways people need to work now to generate readership and income. Worth taking notice of, and perhaps sharing his story with your students.

His Vlogbrothers work on YouTube is something he started with his brother Hank in 2007. It was a really interesting premise called Brotherhood 2.0.

Brotherhood 2.0 was a project created by¬†John¬†and¬†Hank Green¬†in 2007. It started on January 1st of that year with the premise that the brothers would cease all text-based communication for a year and instead converse by¬†video blogs¬†every weekday. The project was made available to the public via¬†YouTube¬†and on their Brotherhood 2.0 website.[2][3]¬†On July 18, 2007, Hank Green uploaded a video of himself playing and singing his song “Accio Deathly Hallows” in honour of the¬†seventh Harry Potter book. This video was the first Vlogbrothers video to make the front page of YouTube, and the starting point of the brothers’ success as vloggers. The project ended on December 31st, 2007, but due to their popularity the brothers continued making videos even after the final day had passed. Now Hank and John continue to create vlogs, but less frequently (every Tuesday and Friday, as of 2012).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlogbrothers

The video above is from the Vlogbrothers channel. If you like quirky stuff, tune in.

Big weekend ahead. My brother is getting married in my front garden on Sunday. So that means Saturday is dedicated to cleaning. Lucky me!

Enjoy your weekend – make the most of whatever comes your way. : )