Sunday, April 3, 2011

Flipping, Voicethread, and Sakai

I jonied a ning that is for teachers who are flipping their classes - "The Flipped Class Network" - a great place to get advice and ideas! I feel like a bit of an imposter, though, because so far I haven't done the true, full flipping of the class. Last week, I had taught a lesson on degrees vs radians, and didn't quite finish all the slides. The leftover slides were all they had to look at on their own. But those leftover slides were just worked out examples. Not really the meat of the lesson, and there was no teacher voice to guide them.

Now to try the true, full flip. To record a lesson, have them listen to it on their own for homework, then spend class time the next day doing assignments/activities, going at their own pace, getting help as they require it from me or from a peer.

Step 1: Recording
To do the recording, many people seem to use Cantasia or some other type of software, but I think I will just use voicethread. I have everything I need right there to display the slides and record my voice, writing, etc, plus the kids all have their own voicethread accounts, so they don't have to upload anything, I can just give them the link like I usually do.  One advantage voicethread has over other recording software is that while they listen and watch the lesson, they will have the option of commenting with questions, or by answering someone else's already-recorded question. So by the time we get together the next day, I will potentially already know what their questions or issues were, and we can get to the doing part of the learning...

Step 2: Wiki-ing
From what I've read, the idea is to have them go to a wiki to find out what their assigned work is, get files they need, and upload their completed work. There are more things assigned than most can get done in a day, so their paths begin to diverge as the week goes on. Once they have completed a certain body of work, they listen to the next lesson and repeat the cycle. I don't yet have a wiki of my own, but we do have Sakai, which for the time being will perform the same function. It is what is called, I believe, a CMS - content management system - that is used by my organization.

Questions/issues I will be posting for the ning folks:
  • I must have to set a time limit of some kind? Like they all have to be at a certain minimum place by a certain time?
  • Are answers made available along with the assigned work, so that students can self-correct and then move on, or does the teacher correct?
  • Can anyone really do this ALL the time? Brian Bennett said that his students felt they preferred to have a regular lecture once a week to feel secure.
  • I need to find a way to be able to see what they're doing while they're doing it, since I don't have the luxury of face-to-face. I don't want to only see the finished product, which they could do at home and then spend class time doing zip. Possible ways to deal with that:
    • design activities that can be done right on the eboard in a breakout room which means minimal handwriting needs to be involved, since most don't have a wacom pen.
    • tell them to keep checking in with me about where they are in their work
    • stop everyone every so often and have a discussion or a round of private message anwers to key questions, which is the strategy many of us online teachers use to see who's working. This assumes everyone is going at more or less the same pace, though...
    • have them use their cellphones to take shots of work in progress
    • I could make a Skype video call and have them show me their work. Probably not enough bandwidth for that though. Hmmmm....something for my class checklists - who has a cell with a camera, and who has skype with a webcam...
    • Have them blog about what they're doing...assuming the flipped class is the same one that is blogging, which is the Gr 11 Science Math.
Like anything else, you just have to do it, jump in the pool, and see what happens!

No comments:

Post a Comment