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learning.now: at the crossroads of Internet culture & education with host Andy Carvin

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January252008

Teach and Ye Shall Receive

There’s nothing worse than the flu to ruin a perfectly good week, and that’s been the story of my life for the last few days. But a couple of days ago I got a note linking to a single photo - a photo with curative powers rivaling my grandmother’s chicken soup, and inspirational to boot.

jeff corwinThe photo, which I’ve copied here, shows what may be a familiar face to you – naturalist and TV personality Jeff Corwin. And he’s holding a laptop displaying a website you may also recognize, because I blogged about it last month. The site is TeachJeffSpanish.com, and was created by Spanish teacher Chris Craft for one of his classes at CrossRoads Middle School in Columbia, SC.

Craft and his students had noticed while watching videos of Jeff Corwin that Jeff’s Spanish wasn’t exactly fluent, so they decided to help him out. They decided to launch the site as a video blog, where the students would publish their own short video tutorials, teaching Jeff Spanish words and phrases relevant to his work.

When I wrote about the site last month, the most common question I got from folks was, “Does Jeff Corwin know about this site?” I had no idea, but I certainly wanted to do my part to help. I passed along my blog to a colleague at Discovery Communications, who offered to forward it around. Meanwhile, Chris Craft happened to be posting notes about the project via a Twitter account called teachjeffcorwin, which in turn helped expose various folks to the website, including colleagues at the Discovery Education Network (DEN).

So when I heard that Jeff Corwin was going to attend the Florida Education Technology Conference in Florida this week, my first thought was whether there was any chance it might be an opportunity for someone to show him the site. Chris Craft was thinking the same thing, as you can see in this note he posted on Twitter:

So the DEN folks had lunch with Jeff today. I only hope someone told him about our little project! It’d be cool if he’d watch our episodes!

Around this time, I noticed another Tweet, this time from Steve Dembo of the Discovery Education Network, who said he was at a press conference with Jeff. I quickly fired off a text message to him asking him if Jeff knew about the students’ video blog, to which Steve replied, “I guarantee you that he has. Proof forthcoming!”

So for the next couple of hours I waited, sneezing and sniffling, hoping someone might shoot me and put me out of my misery. Then, I saw another tweet from Steve, this time directed at Chris Craft:

Heh, yeah, I’d say this answers your question about whether Jeff saw the site..

Next to the note was a link to the above photo of Jeff Corwin, posing proudly next to the students’ video blog. Since I was basically bedridden and not enjoying the mild temperatures of Orlando with everyone else at FETC, I don’t know exactly what Jeff did with the site, nor do I know his opinion of it. From the look on his face in the photo, he seems pretty happy with it. Maybe Steve Dembo will even blog about it later (hint hint, Steve). In some ways, though, it doesn’t matter what he thought. What’s important to me is the look of pride that must have been on the face of Chris Craft and all of his students when they saw the photo. They now had proof that they had made a connection to Jeff Corwin, and hopefully, managed to teach him a few new things about Spanish. And that’s a lesson they’re bound to never forget. -andy

Filed under : People

Responses

That’s super cool. Never underestimate the power of the Internet. :-)

The power of the internet has no limitations.. You can almost do anything.. If not someone will invent it.

my mother is a teacher for 1st graders do you have any resources for her?

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