Student engagement is always at the heart of good instruction. Without engagement, instructors are simply talking to an empty room. But despite our best efforts, sometimes the content is (let’s admit it) boring. And other times, when the content is good — or even great — there are external factors that just seem to suck the lifeblood out of the classroom.
In an attempt to invigorate the classroom, and possibly re-engage students on a different level, here are some interesting online resources that probably have nothing to do with your class:
- The Wilderness Downtown (An interactive film by Chris Milk)
- The Impact of Kickstarter, Creative Commons, and Creators Project | Off Book PBS
- Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
- OK Go: Needing / Getting
- Reggie Watts Disorients You in the Most Entertaining Way | TED
Obviously, none of these links are meant to replace core concepts, important ideas, and the engagement provided through thoughtful instruction. But they are meant as segues, intros, and break-time entertainment that can lead into personalized conversations in the classroom.
The Point: Student engagement is not always supported by the content of a course. But rather than trying to fit in the square peg of an obtuse concept, students can also be engaged with everyday, entertaining, and informative information; the key is to relate these concepts or practices to class, and to foster an appreciation of shared experience.
Of course, if you have other similar resources, please share in our Comments section below.