Browsing "Learning & Teaching"
Tonight I’m hosting my first #ukedchat session on Twitter. I’m really looking forward to it. There have been changes in the ‘lead’ over the course of the past week, with Flipped Learning taking an early lead and then ‘Secret Spaces’ fighting back. The poll had 234 votes and 768 views. Cool! Here’s how it all panned out:
So with the ‘Flipped Learning’ topic taking the lead, I thought I’d provide some background information and reading to the topic.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Flip teaching is a form of blended learning which encompasses any use of using Internet technology to leverage the learning in a classroom, so a teacher can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing. This is most commonly being done using teacher created videos that students view outside of class time. It is also known as backwards classroom, reverse instruction and reverse teaching. 
The traditional pattern of secondary education has been to have classroom lectures, in which the teacher explains a topic, followed by homework, in which the student does exercises. In flip teaching, the student first studies the topic by himself, typically using video lessons created by the instructor or shared by another educator, such as those provided by the Khan Academy. In the classroom, the pupil then tries to apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing practical work. The role of the classroom teacher is then to tutor the student when they become stuck, rather than to impart the initial lesson. This allows time inside the class to be used for additional learning-based activities, including use of differentiated instruction and project-based learning.
Flip teaching allows more hands-on time with the instructor guiding the students, allowing them to assist the students when they are assimilating information and creating new ideas (upper end of Bloom’s Taxonomy).
With that baseline, part of the issue which is getting Steve Wheeler a bit “flipping irritated” is that the term is (as admitted by Aaron Sams) ambiguous and seems to only really include the preparation and dissemination of videos on topics ala the Khan Academy.
So what is the way forward? How do we get flipped or instructional learning in to our classrooms? Should we have flipped learning in our schools? If we do, how do we deliver it? Does it require access to technology? If so, how do we provide that? Is video the only way forward? Could we use a more analogue method (anyone heard of books? Or in a digital world, iBooks?)? What do we do about the digital divide if it is a requirement for technology to be used? Should our school day change to give students more time and chance to reflect on the ‘flipped learning’?
Flip or flop?
What do you think?
See you at 8pm tonight for some hopefully lively discussion around this topic.
In the meantime, here are some more sites with information on the topic of the flipped classroom.
and for some already lively debate, check:
I was really pleased to come across the SketchShare app the other week. I immediately saw some really great potential with it. Some of these key features made it a no brainer for me in an education space:
1) Supporting group work upto 4 people can collaborate anywhere in the world using the Sketchshare app
2) Audio is possible too so you can talk at the same time to each other too
The fact that 4 people can collaborate at the same time really excited me too as it is perfect for group work, particularly when you have multiple iPads for students to work with.
My immediate response was to get a copy across to Sheli Blackburn (@shelibb) who I have been working with on www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk where I thought it would be a great app for our digital leaders to use to collaborate and work on ideas together.
What also appealed to me with this was that the actual ability to sketch and work rather than just Skype / Facetime was really exciting. The power here is that to videoconference with unfamiliar faces can actually be a bit daunting – whether (as in this case) you are primary students working with secondary – the whole face to face thing can be a bit daunting. Sketchshare takes that fear away.
As you might expect, we both are really excited at the prospects the app brings (and we had some good fun sharing images (and then defacing them) as we both learnt how to use the app). The interface is really easy to pick up and has some tidy features. Two things we thought of that might improve it would be the ability to have multiple pages plus an undo button, however from our Twitter dialogues, the developers have been in touch to say they’re looking at adding that functionality. Either way though, I love it. It’s worth grabbing now, as is.
Check it here: http://sketchshare.co.uk/wp/
Feedback from students who have been trialling the devices recently, 24/7 for over a month, can be found on the iClevedon blog here: http://iclevedon.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/10/
You can find out more by following the iClevedon twitter feed.
I recently blogged about the power of iBook Author and the new iBooks2, now I turn to iTunes U or the iTunes University app and how it also supports learning.
The iTunes U app gives anyone with an iPad the opportunity to follow courses from hundreds of different institutions. From big universities such as Harvard and MIT to smaller schools and state districts – Education Scotland for example have courses you can follow in Gaelic, Literacy and English even down to resources for Early Years education.
The courses you can download come with lectures, lecture notes, quizzes, tests, texts, all manner of different learning opportunities, which work in a very similar vein to the books in iBook 2 albeit they are set out a little differently.
I recently was covering the introduction of algorithms as part of the AQA AS Computing A Level course and my students’ learning was further enriched by the opportunities given by iTunes U and MIT’s course ‘Introduction to Algorithms’.
I was able to use my iPad in lessons following my delivery in the course to give students the opportunity to see and learn what further learning in this area would be like at a University level. Not only did this give the students the opportunity to see this, but it raised their aspirations considerably. They were excited by the prospects that furthering their studies in this particular area could bring. Inspired by seeing the iTunes U app, some of the students currently have their own iOS device and were able to download the iTunes U app and then download the course for themselves and since then have been working through various parts of it. Another student who was interested in learning about creating apps in iOS too, so they also downloaded a course from Stanford and they have been working through that too and have begun working on creating their own app.
I just can’t help thinking…
what if these opportunities weren’t there? What if students couldn’t access this?
The opportunities for engaging students here are brilliant and as a result I’m seeing the students now extending their learning further, far further than they would have been able to previously. I just hope that our 1:1 scheme goes ahead. The case for this is increasingly compelling and the opportunities for learning keep being extended further and further.
The future’s bright…
You may have read about the use of the two amazing apps Puppet Pals HD and iMovie in the classroom. These great apps (Puppet Pals HD basic is free, £1.99 for the Directors Pass which gives you some cool features such as using your own backgrounds – iMovie is £2.99) are great working in isolation. Using them together though can bring some even better results.
In a recent lesson, students were exploring Moles in Chemistry (let me say right here, I’m no Chemist!) and I asked them to help students better understand the topic to make a videocast on the topic. Rather than just making the video/animation in Puppet Pals HD, once the students had created the animation and rendered out the video, then put the finished video file in to iMovie from the Camera roll to add notations/text cues over the top to support what was being said.
Once again, I think, showing how apps on the iPad don’t work in isolation, allow work flow and can produce a pretty cool result.
What do you think?
For further great reads about the use of Puppet Pals and iMovie in Science check these two posts by @gavinsmart
Using iMovie for iPad in a Science classroom
Puppet Pals app for plenaries
Vote for me
So it would appear that it really is the season to be jolly – I was overwhelmed (and a little late it would seem) to find out yesterday that my blog has been nominated for the Best EdTech blog in the 2011 Edublog awards.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank, @ICTMagic (Martin Burnett), @Learningspy (David Didau), @SheliBB (Sheli Blackburn) and @MattFothergill (you can guess his name) for nominating me in the first place. Thank you!The only time I’ve ever won an award for things that I have done was back in yesteryear when I was a DJ and I won a DJ competition – that was great fun but this is a completely different proposition. I first started this blog as just a way of sharing all of the cool stuff I had found that I thought others might like to use in their classrooms too. It’s expanded from that place now, but essentially, my blog does that really. I certainly wasn’t looking for any recognition of any kind, just to pass on the things that I find inspire and engage young people in assisting with their learning journey.
When I look through the other people who have been shortlisted too, I’m just completely blown away by the class and quality of the other educators who are listed there. It’s a little bit daunting!
That said… here goes – if you think my blog is worthy, or if you’ve found something here which has helped you? I’d really appreciate it if you’d vote for me.
You can vote for me in the EdTech category here:
Among most of my friends it is common knowledge that from the ages of about 19 to 35 I DJ’d at umpteen bars and clubs across Europe and got to play at some enviable clubs and locations. From Ministry of Sound in London on their radio station and in their club to Ibiza, Edinburgh and beyond. It was a great experience and one that, even though I was still teaching Monday to Friday, brought me many brilliant learning experiences. It helped shape me in to the person I am now.
I’ve given it up now so I can spend more time with the family but when I was talking recently with some colleagues about my past as a DJ, we started discussing how I planned my sets before going off to a gig. I regaled at how I never really planned them, but had my bag full of vinyl (or more recently CDs for use on CDJs) with songs that I liked and might end up playing, but that I never planned my sets – I just read the crowd, listened to the previous DJs, got a feel for what music people were enjoying and explored those types of tracks. Certainly though, I knew of many DJs who would knew exactly what they were going to play, exactly when they were going to mix it in and exactly what BPM the tracks needed to be at in order to fit all the tunes in they wanted in to their sets. Certainly, if you’re one of the very talented and amazing scratch DJ’s that are out there, who have to plan their sets to the nth degree, that sort of thing is really important:
Reflecting after the conversations, I started relating it to my teaching – certainly, my classroom are an audience and as a teacher, whilst I plan my lessons and I have an endgame, i.e. my outcomes, I do read the audience and go with the flow. Like some of the DJs I knew, who would plan their sets religiously, aren’t there teachers who teach like this too? Surely, if teachers do that, they’re missing the point? I know it’s helpful (especially when first starting out) to have clear ideas about the language you’ll use, the questioning techniques you want to employ, so forth and so on, but as you progress in your teaching career, don’t you want to be able to stop and explore a point that might come up? To be able to change direction if required? After all, no two lessons are ever the same. I have a Year 9 ICT class on a Tuesday morning and I have a repeat of that lesson on a Friday afternoon with a different Year 9 class. Here, the timings, the audience and other variables are completely different, so I need to be mindful of all these things and adjust my ‘set’ accordingly, even though I still want the same successful outcomes. It’s just that the songs I play are different.
The same is true of other careers too – chefs for example taste as they’re going along, they drop in a pinch of salt after tasting or a grind of pepper, just to get the perfect blend in the meal they’re cooking. Teaching’s the same, you just have to test and read your audience and adjust your style to suit them so they learn the most and enjoy the best teaching you can provide.
Twitter for developing a PLN
What is a PLN? Many people describe it as their Personal or Professional Learning Network – certainly for me, joining Twitter has been the single best thing I have ever done in terms of developing myself professionally. My colleagues often comment about how they can’t believe how I know all these amazing Web 2.0 sites that students can use, or how I know so much about what is going on in education today, not just locally, but nationally and internationally too. This is all down to Twitter and my amazing PLN. Without it, I believe I wouldn’t have gained the personal and professional developments and contacts I now have – and I love it.
As someone who is clearly an advocate of Twitter and its use for educators, I recently ran a training session at the school I work in, the amazing Clevedon School.
Below is the resource I used as the framework for that session. Feel free to read it, re-use it, so long as you re-credit it back to me.
Spread the word – Twitter’s a bird and bird is the word!
Google Forms as a tool has probably been one of the single most important web based developments to support how I work in the classroom over the last few years. Whilst pretty simple to use, the power of the Google Form is in its flexibility in the many different ways it can be used.
I was recently asked how I go about making my Google Forms and to that end, I’ve made the screencast below to support anyone wanting to learn how to make a Google Form.
Now that you’ve seen how you can make a Google Form, why not try it yourself!
Don’t forget if you’re surveying people / students – check out the ‘Summary of responses‘ option on the Forms menu!
If you’d like to see how you can create a Google Form as a multiple choice quiz and then have it assess itself for you automatically, then watch another of my screencasts here:
I’ve seen Google Forms used in practice in many different ways:
- Student surveys
- Feedback on class work
- Peer assessment
- School council voting
- Learning Outcomes
- Project logs / diaries
- Student tests
For more inspiration, can I urge you to check @TomBarett ‘s collaborative Interesting Ways presentation on the topic, “71 Interesting Ways to use Google Forms”
In keeping with the ideas of Google Forms too, I’d love it if you could fill in this short survey below!
I’ve always felt very lucky to work where I do. It is a forward thinking school and the colleagues I have always give 110% to the students, as do the Governors, of which I am one. My job is a privilege and I love it.
5 years ago, our SLT decided to move over to a Vertical tutoring system and I have to say, it’s been an overwhelming success. Despite some trepidation to start with both from some staff and students, none of us would have it any other way now. Seeing my Year 11 tutees looking out for Year 7 tutees in the playground and the sense of family and community that resides in both my tutor group and within my House is something that fills me with great pride.
This mindmap shows a bit of where I think I am currently, and some ideas about where I would like to go (more below too)
Due to me feeling so passionately about this area of my work, at the start of this new year I wanted to invigorate my work with my tutor group; to engage them even more with new activities and even more engagement. Here are some of the ideas I’ve come up with and collated with some help from my PLN (special thanks to @moreolives)
Tutees create a music video involving all students (and other students / teachers from their House) e.g. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes: e.g.
Here are some of the activities and ideas that I would like to carry forward and work with in the new academic year with my tutor group:
- Tutor group blog
- Blog reps / managers
- Blog story collectors / journalists
- Quad blogging using above blog
- Tutor group quizzes using Microsoft Mouse Mischief
- Create a tutor group motto, e.g. Garde Ta Foy (although perhaps not so pompous as that!)
- Leadership skills tutorials by Y11′s for other years
- Option choice mentoring for Y9′s (by Y10/11′s)
- Music video incorporating tutees, other house members (staff & students) – as per example above
- More use of iPads for collaborative activities
- Tutor group logo
- Monthly update
- Increased responsibility
I’ve got a few more ideas rattling around in my head, but will leave the list like that for now. It will be good to check back at this blog in a years time and see how many of these ideas worked, what more I did and how much of it was successful. I’d love to hear if you’ve got any ideas for how I can further develop the group.