NBC Learn K-12 Subscriber Spotlight: Engaging students on a social level
Meet Mirtha Muller, a 5th grade teacher for the gifted at Twin Lakes Elementary School in Miami Dade County. Muller is an avid NBC Learn user and on Sunday afternoons spends about 45 minutes on NBC Learn preparing for the week. She highlighted various ways that NBC Learn can engage students and cultivate learning.
Current Events: “The kids really love my current events playlist. It’s where they learned about the Ebola outbreak and the current discussion around vaccinations. A lot of the videos I play are really important for bringing relevant subjects to the classroom. These videos explain what is happening now, and then I can engage my students and ask their opinions: ‘Do you agree with that? Why?’”
“My students also reference NBC Learn videos as evidence during oral debates, which is exciting to see. For example, we had a heated debate around parents who aren’t vaccinating their children because it is against their private beliefs. Many students argued that it was a public health concern, based on the videos they saw. NBC Learn is a great springboard for hearing students’ opinions – and it’s especially useful for evaluating their opinion writing.”
Multidisciplinary Approach: Muller appreciates that NBC Learn videos cut across the various subjects she teaches throughout the day. “The New England Patriots ‘deflategate’ controversy was interesting because I was able to connect a few different subjects. We talked about the physics implications of having a lighter ball, but also the moral implications of cheating.”
Connecting with Students: At the beginning of the year, Muller went onto NBC Learn and saw the Science and Engineering of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games series and Science of NFL Football. “These videos have really helped me engage my students on more of a social level, outside of just academics. They come in on Monday morning and say: ‘Ms. Muller, great win last night!’”
Engaging Parents: “NBC Learn even came in handy during a recent open house with parents. I showed the video “Confusion Over Common Core Math is Causing a Stir” to illustrate why we’re not doing the same old algorithms. I explained how my students are now thinking critically and taking things apart, as opposed to just copying. As a teacher, I feel it’s not just ‘my way or the highway’.”