Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Flip this class

Haven't been blogging because I've been reading, reading and reading, going from blog to link to tweet to blog to you-name-it....no wonder I have felt so scatterbrained and foggy lately - I think I am overstimulated with all this reading, so it's time to cook it all down to something I can focus on: Flipping the class. Inspired by Sal Khan, Brian Bennett, Jeff Utecht, and whoever else I read in the last week.....I'm ready to try it out myself.

I had thought I would start flipping as soon as my kids all had their Khan Academy accounts, and then use his videos for the content, but a few obstacles popped up:
  • First, it took so long to get EVERYONE to open an account with me as their coach, in fact, I am still missing a few kids. Partly because of the fact that to create an account, you need to have either a facebook account or a google account, and for most kids facebook is blocked at school, so of course, it's "I'll do it at home miss" but next day oops I forgot. Right. Next year it's all through google accounts.
  • Next obstacle: It turns out that nowadays, when you create a google account, you have to supply a cell nbr - I guess to discourage spammers (Ok one of my students told me that, I didn't have a clue why that would happen) and some kids are not comfortable doing that. Sigh. Facebook when you get home then.
  • Final obstacle: Me. I should at least be the one making the video, no? Or the powerpoint? I don't teach the same way Sal does, I mean, no two teachers do, but it's more a question of ownership I think. I mean, these are my kids!
So: Doing a psuedo-flip today. Just started a new unit today with Tech Sci Math gr 11 - degrees vs radians. Had a full lesson on ppt, not recorded but pretty complete, with callouts and each step appearing one at a time in the examples...didn't get through it all in class, though, so I told them to watch the rest for homework. That's it. Nothing else for homework. "But", I said, "you will be doing 'homework' in class tomorrow, so be ready to work." Here's the lesson, by the way embedded from googledocs instead of scribd (thanks to Brian Bennett for that idea!):

Formatting seems to get messed up the same with googledocs as it does with scribd...vexing...

Now I have to have a bunch of activities at the ready. A range of them - from simple practice to some Malcolm Swans to enrichment. I also have to adapt this to the online synchronous class, because I can't walk around the class like Brian Bennett can with a camera and see what they're all working on! Unless I make them all write their work on the eboard, which could make the whole thing come crashing down....we'll see what I can come up with.

And one other thing I've been reading about - QR codes. The next big thing, maybe! But later, I'm flipping now, so one flippin' thing at a time!

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