I was messaged on Twitter the other day by Professor Gustavo Reis. In his TEDx talk, he discusses the importance of education and, more importantly, the need for engaged students. Below are a few takeaways from the video that I found particularly interesting.
NOTE: the video is subtitled.
How Students Pay Attention In Class
One of the stand out points Prof. Reis makes is based on a study that found most students are alert and attentive for the first 5 minutes of class. Then, about halfway through class, only about half are paying attention. Then, there’s a critical point: when the teacher says “finally” and signals that the end is near.
It’s during that time the student understand that either the best part (save the best for last and all that) of the class is coming or that the class is simply almost over. Either way, the students in general snap back to attention.
After 1 Minute, Half of all Video Viewers Leave
Prof. Reis ties this study into the world of online video. He discusses how, after just the first 10 seconds of a video (like the one above for example), 11% of all viewers have abandoned the video. After just one minute (regardless of how long the video is), more than HALF of all viewers are gone. And after 5 minutes, just 9% of the original viewers will remain.
2% of High School Students Want To Be Teachers
At about 10 minutes into the video, Prof. Reis details why he has realized he’s always been (and always will be) a teacher. But, he says, the problem is with the current education system. He cites a figure that just 2% of high school students say they want to be teachers when they grow up. In a retort, he says “nonsense, I think it’s much less.”
About Prof. Reis’ Talk
Gustavo Reis has always been considered a model student. At 18, he was already a professor of mathematics. Years later, he founded the Mathematica Et Cetera (http://www.mathetc.com), which helps students understand the material at various levels, and transformed knowledge in entrepreneurship. In TEDxUnisinos the theme of his presentation was “Be a loser.”