Saturday, December 4, 2010

Making Learning Fun

Learning is hard and challenging, especially learning a new subject that requires hard thinking. However, as an educator, I believe we can make learning fun, even for a hard subject (for me mathematic and physics). It's easier said than done, but it can be done. The present generation of learners learn differently -- they are digital natives. This becomes a challenge for us to search for ways in which our learners can learn and at the same time enjoy every moment of it, or any approach employed to make that learning process a success. However, to create a classroom environment that is lively and interesting, both teacher and students should demonstrate enthusiasm. I always believe that teaching is an exciting adventure in which both the teacher and the students participate and cooperate to achieve a common goal. It is much like “Explorace”, where the team members have to work hard together to accomplish certain task and finally reach the destination.

Learning activities can help transform a classroom into an exciting, meaningful, and active learning experiences. These learning activities can be used to increase interactivity, engage learners, accomplish learning objectives, and promote active learning. My experiences with “playing to learn” has taught me that the use of games and simulations can help bring to life knowledge and information that might otherwise exist only as bullet points on slides. The use of stories as the basis for case studies, scenarios, role-playing, and problem solving in a game or simulation-based format provides a memorable, vivid, and fun means for students to learn, remember, and retain knowledge effectively over time.

Making learning fun is not an easy task. The following video shows how learning history can be fun for the students. Tim Bailey, 2009 National History Teacher of the Year, teaches at a Salt Lake City, Utah, elementary school serving mostly disadvantaged students. Although most of them come from families that recently immigrated from Latin America, Africa, Asia and other parts of the world, the children respond enthusiastically to Tim's creative approach to teaching American history and citizenship. He remarks, "Real learning doesn't take place without emotional connection".

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