Flipping Out!

Over the past month I have been working with teachers trying new ideas in the classroom.  It is so important to try to reach all of our students even if it means we have to step out of our comfort zone.  Kerry W., a math middle school teacher I work with agreed to try a FLIPPED CLASSROOM with her students.  In a flipped classroom, students watch the lecture for a lesson at home and do their ” homework”  in the classroom.  Kerry videotaped her lesson using SMART recorder and put it on her webpage for students to access from home.  Students who did not have home access watched it at school before leaving for the day.   I had the opportunity to visit Kerry’s classroom and ask the students how they liked the flipped classroom and the response was positive.  Some felt that they had prior knowledge before coming to class which helped them feel comfortable with the lesson and the activity.  They also could watch the lesson video more than once if they did not understand the first time.

I think the flipped classroom has great potential in the math and science classrooms.  So many times I see my son struggling with his math homework.  Who knows if he is practicing correctly and since “practice makes perfect” is practicing wrong a good idea? In a science classroom, this might allow for more lab time for hands-on application.  In this environment, the teacher becomes a facilitator and can help students master the concepts and review areas where students are struggling.

Here are some links for more information about the flipped classroom and how some are using this technique.

First teachers to flip the classroom

Livebinder with resources for flipping the classroom

15 Schools Using Flipped Classrooms Right Now

Teachers turn learning upside down

What’s the Best Technology for Flipped Classrooms?

As with anything we try in education, it is not for everyone but I do believe that we should try to engage our students in new ways.


Favorites from 2011

I thought I would share some of my favorite tech tools and ideas from last year.  Maybe they will become yours for this year!

Dropbox   I have carried around portable hard drives and flash drives around my neck and wrists so that I could transfer files from work to home and back.  What a hassle!  With Dropbox, I can just upload in one place and download in another.  No hassle!

Livebinders  This is a great way to have a 3 ring binder on the web.  You can organize documents, links, images, text and video in tabs and subtabs.  Invite friends and colleagues to collaborate on binders with you or keep it private for your eyes only!

Sumopaint If you like Photoshop, you will love Sumopaint.  It has layers and many of the tools like Photoshop and it is free!

Diigo   I have been a Diigo user for a long time but it is the most useful tool.  I use it many times a day to bookmark sites that I want to keep and share.  Everyone should have an online bookmarking tool and I recommend this one.

Yoono  See your social networking sites all in one place!  I wish it had Plurk but maybe in time…

Sqworl  Create one link for many links.  Great tool for sharing many websites in one place.

There are many more tech tools that I love but I thought I would share just a few of my favorites.  These will change and new ones will come along.  When they do, I will share them with you!

Here goes…

Well, here is my first attempt at blogging.  I am slow to the party considering that I love all things techie.  I have put it off by saying “Who wants to hear what I have to say?”  Admittedly I am not much of a writer so don’t expect too much in that regard but I do love technology and have a strong desire to help teachers learn ways to use it in a meaningful way in the classroom to engage students and help them become self-starters, deep thinkers and content creators. I decided that as an instructional technologist, I better walk the walk if I am going to talk the talk. Hopefully in this blog I can bring some of the information that I get every day and you can decide what to look at and what to ignore.  Wish me luck – this is kind of intimidating!