Buffalo Teacher Makes History Come Alive | News
Buffalo, N.Y. - It's clear right from when you walk in the room that Keith Hughes' history class at McKinley High School is not your father's history class.
And it's not just because of Hughes' energy and passion.
Hughes incorporates kids making their own videos as a way for them to understand complex issues like FDR's New Deal.
This week, using a pill bottle, he was explaining to his class that too many government programs could be addicting.
A few of his students went out in to the hallway in front a "green screen" to act out a quick script.
Then using a computer, Hughes can add words and pictures to the video the kids have done, illustrating why the New Deal could be compared to socialism.
Hughes makes plenty of his own videos on history that kids can go home and use to study on their computers.
Everything from the Constitutional Convention where Hughes says in the video that the Founding Fathers said, "We have to start anew, so they took the Articles of Confederation and (crumpled them up) aim, fire, score...yeah!"
In another video, he uses Ike and Tina Turner to describe why the colonies wanted their independence with "Tina Turner being the colonists and Ike being the abusive King of England."
Scott Brown: "How much easier do you think it is for a kid to learn your way versus textbooks?"
Keith Hughes: "I definitely think that video in the 21st century mode is the meaning they understand the best so I think with video I can use body language, visuals and texts and the whole kind of kit kat and kaboodle."
His students give Mr. Hughes and his methods an A plus.
"He's the best teacher I ever saw, like I never thought a teacher would teach like that," said junior Denesha Crawford.
"When I learn in a textbook I kind of drift off, he keeps it more interesting for me. It's a fun class you want to come here, you want to learn," said senior Kwashawn Hart.
"We're the Electoral College we've got a tale to tell," chant a group of cheerleaders in another one of Hughes' videos.
Keith Hughes: "Anything that gets them engaged is this biggest missing variable in education. Nobody talks about it. If you don't have engagement, if you don't have a student's attention then you're teaching to nothing, it's just a waste of time."
Based on how his innovative teaching methods are impacting his students, it's clear that Keith Hughes is wasting no one's time.
Hughes' videos are about to go national. YouTube has set up a special eductional channel that schools across the country will give their students access to and Hughes' videos will be among those featured on the new channel.