Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Flipped Classroom - from theory to practice

Stephen Bukin's is the first of two Flipped classroom presentations during the LTSIG day. Stephen started by talking about the origins of the flipped classroom with Bergman and Sams in the US and the now well-known Khan academy bei the fore-runners.

Proponents of e flipped classroom believe that this model helps struggling students and often helps with poor students. Stephen also believes that it helps over scheduled students.

Why flip your classroom? The model of schoolwork and homework was based on the requirements of the Industrial age and it may be about time for a change.

Stephen started by looking at his own classes and analyzing his own lessons. He is a traditional PPP.teacher but he felt that the students were not getting enough practice in his previous teaching  model. Another problem he had was continuous enrollment and with new students entering his classroom all the time, often with different levels, differentiation was difficult. This was why he thought that a possible solution was the flipped classroom model.

Using this model frees up the classroom time and allows a teacher to have more one-to-one time and can be more student-centred because the students decide how much time to spend on each video. He decided to start by making some demo screencast recordings and he collected feedback from the students and then reflected on the lessons and on what worked well with the videos that received the best feedback.

Although there's nothing wrong with putting a video camera in the classroom, Stephen decided to use screencast software. He started wi Jing, but this has now been discontinued, so he has switched to http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/. Two other tools that you can use are http://www.brainshark.com/mybrainshark and http://www.screenr.com/, although these last two do not let you to share your webcam, which Stephen likes.

Another tool Stephen likes is http://present.me, which shows a split screen with a video of yourself on one side of the screen and PowerPoint slides on the other.

For teachers with iPads, http://www.educreations.com/ is a nice tool. It can also be used on the Web too as it is cross-platform. Explain Everything is Stephen's favorite iPad app. It allows you to use images and move them around on screen in interesting ways and can also be used with students.

Despite these useful tools, it is not about the video, but actually the extra time using the videos frees up in the classroom. There seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence that this method does help with deeper learning in interesting ways, although not much research is available at the moment.

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