Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blog Post #7

First, I'd like to say how much I enjoyed this video, Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. Randy was so inspirational to me. Randy was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. After he found out he only had six months to live, due to pancreatic cancer, he gave "The Last Lecture". Regardless of the imminent problems that he was facing, he was enjoying the rest of his life. He could easily say that he had accomplished his childhood dreams. For that reason, he strived to help others achieve their childhood dreams. He strongly advocated achieving your dreams. You have to do what needs to be done, in order to achieve them. After passing away at age 47, Dr. Randy Pausch left behind a grand legacy. He has inspired and effected so many people. Randy did not wait around for his dreams to fall in his lap, he made them happen.

My favorite thing that Randy talked about from the beginning was brick walls. Why brick walls? Well, Randy Pausch tells us that brick walls are there to show us how much we want something. This really hit home for me. I have had brick walls all of my life. He is right, it showed me how much I wanted to achieve all of my goals. This is a great lesson for teaching and learning. I believe this to be true, because when you teach you will have obstacles. For example, a child may not be learning to read at the same pace as all of the other students. Although you have this brick wall, it can show to you how much you really want this child to succeed and catch up to their peers. As for learning, it basically happens the same way. For example, a student may be having extreme difficulties with long division. They hit a brick wall. This brick wall can show them that they need to learn this to move along, and that they want to learn it! Brick walls are opportunities to realize what you want to achieve, and give you the chance to prove it. This perspective is very inspirational, and I am definitely going to display his quote about brick walls in my future classroom.

Something really great that I learned about from Dr. Pausch is a "Head Fake". Head faking is when teachers basically trick their students. No, not in an evil and sinister way. It's all about the learning process. For example, a group of students may be doing a project together on photosynthesis. They believe that they are just learning about photosynthesis, and doing a project on it to get a grade. Although, they doing both of those things, they are also learning about many other things. This can include responsibility, teamwork, patience, and etc. It is great for students to learn multiples things at one time, and they don't even realize it. The same can be said for teaching also. Teachers can also learn multiple things at once to enhance their teaching. An example of this could be that a teacher attended a workshop on art for the elementary classroom. She was attending a class she knew was for art, but could have also learned things about time management, science and social studies incorporation in art, patience, and etc. Head faking is an excellent way to learn without even knowing it.

Randy Pausch taught students how to make virtual realities. Dr. Pausch was obviously an advocater of Project Based Learning. What I gained from him showing this part of his life is; I learned that giving students creative leeway, is a good thing. He would let his students choose what they wanted to do and he was amazed at their performance. He gave them the power of choice, and they learned how to do a lot of things on their own in order to complete the virtual reality. This is something we do a lot in EDM310. Through self-learning, we really do learn a lot more than we think. This gives us the opportunity to do independent learning and get hands-on. This is a great method for teaching and learning.

Dr. Randy Pausch taught me so many more things about teaching and learning, but these areas stood out the most to me. Randy has become an inspiration to me. He has truly taught me to reach for the stars and never give up. Thank you, Dr. Strange for allowing us to watch this video and learn about Dr. Pausch. I am truly in awe of Randy's accomplishments.


  1. I think the biggest thing that stuck out to me in Dr. Randy Pausch was his comment about the brick wall. I never thought of a brick wall as a challenge that was there to make me work harder for what I want. I agree with you that he was very inspirational and showed me that my dreams were important, and that I should fight for them.