Flipped Classrooms

“Flip your instruction so that students watch and listen to your lectures… for homework, and then use your precious class-time for what previously, often, was done in homework: tackling difficult problems, working in groups, researching, collaborating, crafting and creating. Classrooms become laboratories or studios, and yet content delivery is preserved.” (http://www.connectedprincipals.com/archives/3367).

This reminds me of university.  When professors handed out reading assignments with a timeline and would just move through the material whether you read it or not.  I was responsible, enough, to do my readings.  I have some students who struggle to bring enough food in their lunch, never mind listen to a 20 minute video on Capacity.  I work hard to keep everyone’s attention during discussions, using cues to listen, proximity to refocus and strategies to maintain good classroom management.

Questions I have:

  • Who will be making sure the students are actually paying attention and are engaged in the video?
  • What ages are kids expect to do this at home?  Is this a high school or Jr. High or even elementary?
  • How can we expect or what time expectation should each student be doing at night?
  • How can we plan a lesson if students do not do their homework? Do they just fall behind?
  • What if the technology fails, dial up is still in use, or some kids do not have access to the computer for a long time?
  • How do families with many children share the computer when everyone needs to do their homework before the next day?
  • What will parents think of this?
  • What roles do teacher play? Can the teacher then become replaced?  Couldn’t we just buy a video?
  • Would classroom size change?
  • Are teachers ok with being viewed by parents and anyone with access to that USB stick or website?

There is a lot to think about.   Perhaps we could have a flipped teacher?

Flip your teaching so that students watch and listen to your lectures……from the comfort of your own home?  Lol ok a little sarcastic but the technology isn’t really that far off.  With Ipads we can use Apple T.V. to watch and write on students Ipads from a remote location.  Would a flipped classroom end up being a threat to teacher jobs? Even with the technology we have,we are not there….. Yet.

“Show Me” The Money!

Okay, so you don’t have to show me the money, but I am excited about the new app that I found for the Ipad called “Show Me“.

ShowMe” is a global learning community – a place where anyone can learn or teach anything. Our mission is to make learning as accessible as possible, while giving great teachers and experts a platform to reach even more students. (http://www.showme.com/about_showme/)

I have been reading some blogs such as Jumping Aboard on flipped instruction and am excited to continue to grow in this area and make it part of my practice. With that in mind, I set out to learn how I could extend learning beyond the classroom. Using the Show Me App for the Ipad, I created my first Ipad screencast on the water cycle for my grade 5 science class.

I know it isn’t perfect… I stammered a little, my writing was messy, and it may be a simplistic explanation, but I think part of embracing the process of incorporating technology and flipping the classroom is getting over our own insecurities and pressure that we place on ourselves that it does need to be perfect. Taking risks and embracing technology is necessary to inspire learning… and that is what we all want to do.

I don’t know if the Show Me App is the best Ipad app for screencasting and I do know there are a few other options available. With that being said, here is what I liked about using the Show Me App to create a screencast:

  1. It is free
  2. It syncs with your online account at www.showme.com  so you can access it from any computer
  3. You can easily share your screencasts via Twitter, Facebook, email or embed it into a blog or website (as you saw above).
  4. You can share your screencast publicly or keep it private.
  5. You can tag your screencasts by adding “topics” (tags).
  6. You can access many other screencasts done and shared by other educators around the world that are sorted into topics.
Finally, I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about how I am making this accessible to my students. Although, I am very early (emphasis on early) in the process I am going to make all the links available, among other web resources, on my Parkland School Division classroom blog. I have made a “students resources page” on my blog with links to subject specific pages that I will update throughout the year with resource links and screencasts.
Well there you have it. This is one of the things I have been learning as part of the Learning Leader Project. I am excited to continue on in this journey of incorporating screencasting into my regular practice. Who knows, the thought has even crossed my mind to let the students make some screencasts, explaining their learning, that I can put on our classroom blog… because isn’t that after all when learning really takes place? When the student can tell the world what it is that they know as opposed to just listening to what I know?