Edudemic’s Guide to a Flipped Classroom

If you are interested in flipping your classroom, I recommend reading Edudemic’s Guide to a Flipped Classroom.

Why Flip?

A flipped classroom is one of my long-term goals as an educator. After I am more comfortable with using technology in the classroom, I feel that flipping how learning takes place will be a great way to practice my inclusive beliefs and prepare my learners for an ever-changing, globalized world. Furthermore, “studies have found that students K-12 are assigned an average of three hours of homework a day, but many parents [and educators] question whether the quantity of work matches the quality of learning” (Edudemic Staff, 2015). I do not believe this is a realistic amount for most kids to complete, especially those with learning difficulties. Families lead busy lives and the measure of a sound education should not be quantity. However, I do not believe in swinging the pendulum in the complete opposite direction. My belief is that middle ground between hours of homework and absolutely no homework can be found. I believe that a flipped classroom is a model that allows for balance. Students listen to the instruction online (approx. half an hour) at home and then their work is completed in the classroom, where the teacher can assist and collaboration with peers can take place.

Benefits:

  1. This allows students to learn at their own pace: repeat the lesson if needed, skip/skim parts that they already know, etc.
  2. Questioning time is increased and teachers can support their learners without rushing lessons. Students can bring their concerns to class after some reflection.
  3. Increased collaboration due to in-class work time.
  4. Shy students have a chance to voice their concerns/ask questions in a more private manner.
  5. Environmentally friendly: this allows for an almost paper-free classroom.
  6. Parents can see what their children are learning about at school. No more need for the “what did you learn today?” question.

Disadvantages:

  1. Takes time to collect resources/make videos. The teacher and students all need to have access to technology and understand the tools they are using.
  2. Students may not complete the lecture at home. Student motivation is required.
  3. Teachers still will have to balance their time to help all of their learners. Classroom management cannot be forgotten as in-class work-time must be on-task, focused, and hold some structure.

I believe that these issues are similar as to what is already posing challenges in the traditional method. Therefore, I think this model is worth a try and teachers can make adjustments/problem-solve as needed.

Implementation:

  1. Start by getting comfortable with the technology that will be used. Both students and teachers need to know how to best use the tools.
  2. Start small. Edudemic suggests giving homework that is a YouTube video to watch at home and discussion and questions follow the next day. Consider this your pre-assessment.
  3. Start creating your lessons. I would suggest a half an hour a night but adjust accordingly. Also, take a look at what is out there already, who you can collaborate with, etc.
  4. Create in-class time activities/assessments. I would suggest giving students a voice about what they want to do to demonstrate their knowledge. The nice thing is your videos could stay relatively the same year to year but with a new class, new assignments could happen; every year would look a bit different. Students may engage more if they get to co-construct rubrics. However, if problems arise with students not watching the lectures, Edudemic suggests quizzes at the start.

What other problems do you see with the flipped model? What other benefits? How would you work around those issues? What tools would you use to create your lessons? If students were unmotivated to watch the videos at home, what could you do?

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Teaching Environment

This Monday I had the privilege of watching David Suzuki and friends share their insights about the environment and about our right to have environmental security and stability in our Canadian Constitution. As Dr. David Suzuki noted, “what’s more important than the right to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat healthy food?” What amazed me most about the Blue Dot Tour is how everything is interconnected. David Suzuki’s overview did not just include environmental history – Medicare by Tommy Douglas, heterosexism/racism/sexism, voting rights, equality for all, democracy, sustainable economics, social action, taking care of the weakest, planning for the future, First Nations rights, etc. were all discussed. All the things I am really passionate about are interconnected and this was a liberating realization. (Now if I could only get my hands on that speech)!

David Suzuki’s point that resonated most with me was that there is no environment. “WHAAAAT?” I thought, “that doesn’t make sense coming from an environmentalist?” But it is true! There is no separate entity that is environment and a separate entity that is humanity We are the air. We are the water. There is one blue dot and everything in it is connected. What we put into the world, we put into ourselves. What we do to those less fortunate or animals or Mother Nature, we do to ourselves (in the long run, at the very least).

I left feeling inspired, yet so small. It is a daunting task to change the worldview of many and to put eco back into economics. How do we change our habits? How do we reverse the damage we have caused? I know I cannot begin to solve all of these issues but I can contribute to the solution by TELLING politicians what I want and what they can do for me instead of letting them pull the strings. I can recycle. I can walk. I can take the bus. I can research and try to only purchase organic foods and fair trade products (to the best of my ability). I can avoid using chemicals. I can sign petitions to save the bees. I can encourage my municipality to embrace eco-friendly choices. I am NOT POWERLESS. I will be a positive drop of water in the bucket… and maybe I am just one drop, but if everyone is a positive drop in the bucket Dr. Suzuki reminded us that “we can fill any bucket.” So far over 55,000 Canadians have signed the petition to have environmental rights be recognized in our Constitution and I have faith that there will be many more “drops” to come. POSITIVE CHANGE IS WANTED. POSITIVE CHANGE IS NEEDED. AND POSITIVE CHANGE WILL HAPPEN!

For more information visit:

Blue Dot

‘Shoulders’ by Shane Koyczan and The Short Story Long

Today is the day we Decide