Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Big Beautiful Blur

I have done to my flip-o-graphic pretty much the same thing I've been doing to my lessons, which is chopping it up. There seems to be no end to the number of phases one goes through in the flip, and it just makes more sense to have fewer shorter graphics than one ginormous one. I'm also prettying it up a bit, because since I created the first one, I have discovered the pie tool in powerpoint....oh how much time that would have saved me....

These phases are not measured in time, mind you. They are measured in what I call Flip-ages.

Flip-age 1: The most basic flip
I think I was in this phase for about a month or so, maybe even less:

I jumped in whole hog right away, mainly because I had all kinds of lessons in powerpoint format at the ready. I didn't change them much before transforming them into recorded lessons. I just uploaded those puppies to voicethread. The thing is, all those powerpoints were designed as in-class lessons, and had plenty of opportunities for students to be active, like warmup activities, guided note-taking, and examples. So my first flip-ees did all of that too, which meant that they really needed something like an hour to watch the voicethread and do all the writing that accompanied it. Those critics who said flippers were just off-loading drudgery onto the student's evening time? They were, to some extent, right. Mean, but right.

Flip-age 2: In which I stopped being the most important player in my class

This is also where the biggest transformation happened, the one that I still think was only possible, for me, by flipping, and rescuing the f2f time:

This phase, for me, was all about what to do during class. I spent a lot of time reading about Ramsey Musallam's Explore-Flip-Apply, Crystal Kirch's WSQ, Stacey Roshan's techie musings, Kate Nowak's everything, Andy Schwen's everything, John Golden's geogebra stuff, Dan Meyer's three-act-math many blogs by so many greats. I've experimented with lots of their ideas and I've also written quite a lot about my experiments in f2f time, and of course, it's an ongoing process. This year I aimed for creating activities that are collaborative, engaging, and fun, as well as strategies for helping students - those that ask for help as well as those who don't. I can't say that this phase is over, but a new flip-age is dawning nevertheless....

Flip-age 3: The Big Beautiful Blur:

And now it's all about the emerging overlap and interactivity of the three sectors:

Now the lesson and the activity are becoming one and the same thing, students' questions are shaping the lesson, or help arises as a natural consequence of an activity. I seem to spend almost as much time gathering, organizing, and responding to student feedback as I used to spend making those 100-slide powerpoints. Yes, that's right. One-hundred. Sorry, students of my past, especially my first flip-ees.

And the next flip-age? 

I hope it will have something to do with learning and assessment that is initiated by my students. Maybe, maybe, it won't fit into this flip-o-graphic, and I'll have to come up with something in three dimensions. Maybe I'll have to use Minecraft to create it, and I'll have to get my own son to teach me how!


  1. I love how you have explained the student-centered nature of a flipped classroom! Great explanation and graphics!

  2. I love how this shows learning/teaching as a process, as yet uncompleted. So often it is presented as getting to some fixed destination. I love the phrase "rescuing f2f time", so very true, it needed rescuing!!
    Look forward to seeing you f2f soon!!!

    1. I can't take credit for "rescuing f2f time", but I can't remember who said it, although I do remember it was someone at one of the #flipclass chats. Anyway, I'm looking forward to our f2f too, so very much!