Amber gets MACEd (Day 2)

Hello again! I am at Day 2 of the MACE conference in Bonner Springs, Kansas. If you haven’t had a chance to check out my post from Day 1, you can do it here.

Eric Langhorst was the keynote speaker today at MACE and is currently Missouri’s Teacher of the Year. I can see why! Langhorst is a history teacher at South Valley Jr. High in Liberty. He engages his students by using technology and he won’t except any excuses not to. He records most of his lectures with a three-year old, $50.00 mp3 player and uploads it using free software on his laptop. The podcasts are available for students to review at their leisure. Langhorst believes that students should create and retain the content instead of consuming and regurgitating it. His students have written reports, produced videos, and recorded audio tour guides available at local Missouri museums in conjunction with a grant funded by AT&T.

Langhorst commonly hears excuses as to why his system of teaching doesn’t work for others. Here are a few:

  • It is too expensive
  • Every student needs a laptop, and we don’t have that
  • It requires too much time
  • I don’t know enough about technology
  • No room in the curriculum
  • My old way is just as effective

Do you often hear these statements or even find yourself using them? Langhorst has proven these excuses are merely that….Excuses. By using an inexpensive, easy-to-use mp3 player and free software he has improved the interest and comprehension of every single student in his classroom. He has included parents, teachers, authors, and the community in his lessons and by doing so, has given his students a sense of accomplishment, ownership, and pride in their work. Check out this article in Education World about his effective tools inside and out of the classroom.

So, how can we be more like Mr. Langhorst?

  • Use the resources we already have
  • Educate yourself
  • Search for free options, they are out there!
  • Use technology as your curriculum, not in addition to
  • Don’t hoard your successes — share with others and they will share with you
  • Get inspired

To learn more about Mr. Langhorst and his great ideas, check out his blog:

www.speakingofhistory.blogspot.com

Here are his slides from today’s presentation:

Thanks for the motivation Mr. Langhorst!

Are you currently using technology to motivate yourself or the learners around you? Share your story with us in the comments section!

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Related posts:

  1. Amber gets MACEd (Day 1)
  2. Amber gets MACEd (Day 3)
  3. Eric Langhorst uses Flip

Amber Nutt

Amber Nutt is an Education Support Technologist at the University of Kansas.