Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Flipped Class Webinar

After attending this great webinar yesterday, which was hosted by Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams, I sat down and tried to organize my thoughts. First, some snippets of what I heard, to the best of my memory:
  • Jonathan, about the flipped model: "This is the magic bullet for differentiation."
  • Aaron said that in their first year, they had everyone more or less doing the same thing at the same time, then it evolved over the years into what it is today, mastery, self-paced, active
  • On a weekly basis, this is what happens: Monday the teacher gives the class the current week's benchmarks, then every Friday gives marks based on how much of the assigned tasks each student has satisfactorily completed. 
  • During the week, the teacher roams around the room and talks with each kid, informally, to assess their progress
  • How to monitor progress without collecting every single thing the students do: the teacher can tell during the daily walk-arounds who is copying, who is working, who is struggling, and can then redirect kids who need it when they need it, by saying ok by now you should be here so today you are doing this
  • Students take tests using Moodle, and if they get 75% or better, thay can move on to another unit
  • Noise can be an issue for kids taking tests - well it won't be in the virtual class!
  • Students can do an alternate assessment if they can't get 75% on test
  • moodle can generate a different test for each kid, even though it covers the same topics, which helps guard against cheating
  • Aaron said that there is some debate about whether or not each teacher should make their own videos, or use some kind of a "master" video
  • Katie (Jonathan's daughter and student) said that copying (cheating) still happens, like in any class, but she still thinks this is a better way to learn
  • Anyone who goes to this June's conference gets a free copy of Camtasia!
  • Jonathan said that he could never go back to lecturing.
What occurs to me about my own experience so far: 
  • re: my discomfort with the quiet, not being sure what they're doing: the walk-around that Jon & Aaron can do in the brick and mortar class takes care of this, so instead of me waiting around for my students to come to me with questions, I will go to them one at a time and ask what they're doing, get informal assessments each day - if they won't initiate the conversation, then I will. Kind of my job.
  • I need to get me some moodle
  • I need to make my voicethreads shorter
  • ....or my camtasia podcasts, if I can get my hands on that software
  • Looking at what Jon and Aaron have put together over the years, as a team, for each unit...stunning and scary too...it's going to take me years to build the kind of system these pioneers have. I need banks of activities, all my lessons taped one way or another, a system for checking off who's done what and when, a marking system, everything packaged, a new website to house all this....a fantastic challenge but very exciting!
  • I'm so glad I tried this now instead of at the beginning of the school year, when there is just too much going on. Next year, I'll be able to start off doing this and improve even more as the year goes on. It would have been too overwhelming in September.
  • In fact, this is the time of year when I am typically running out of steam, and instead, I am energized and excited about the possibilities that are out there! Today I spent time trying to embed a geogebra dynamic worksheet in my blog, and even though I haven't gotten it to work yet, it's another thing to look forward to. Unheard of in April!
  • I still want to continue the classblog, but one thing at a time. I had initially thought that it would be harder to have a scribe type blog with flipping, because everyone's doing something different, but it seems that overall the kids are at the same place more or less, so it should still be doable. In fact, it might help keep up the pace for everyone.
  • I've had to do a few lectures since starting this, due to this and that, like one day only 1 kid had watched the voicethread in Tech Sci Math. And boy was I bored giving that lecture. Which has to mean my kids were, too. This is not how I want to teach anymore, and it hasn't been for a long time.
I don't think there's any going back for me either.

1 comment:

  1. Let's talk about what tools we might already have that can give you the results you need. Tuesday PM?

    Glad to hear that the timing worked for you. Sometimes when we discover new things in the middle of the school year it seems to make more sense to wait until September. Not the case this time, fortunately.