Slowly, but surely I will share more information that I took from the #cue13 conference. I attended a workshop called “Flipping the Secondary English Classroom ” and it was presented by an energetic, passionate Secondary ELA teacher named Kate Petty. @techclassroom Her resources can be found here
Up until this session I was under the impression that a flipped classroom meant more or less paperless and incorporating technology. I hadn’t read a lot of articles concerning it because I thought I knew the basic concepts. I was wrong. The flipped classroom is where the reading and instruction takes place at home, and then the work is done at the school. (I know that you probably knew that as a seasoned pro, but it was news to me)
I have to give Petty credit because she had an individual in the room asking a lot of questions, and she could answer them all. He asked things like “doesn’t this create more work for you? What if students don’t have their own iPads/computers etc? What if they don’t do the work at home? What if they don’t have Internet access at home?”
I do not remember all of her answers, but I can speak to these questions myself from what I have experienced.
I do not think that the flipped model creates more work, just different work. We go from planning 20-40 min lectures/power points/ discussion topics to simply posting the content online. I had a grade 12 student raise their hand during my last Prezi and she said “I don’t understand why teachers make us copy notes or read whats being projected while they talk! I can’t listen and read at the same time.” I stopped and said, “good point,” and did not talk for the rest of the Prezi. It then dawned on me that they don’t need me to read it out! I’d save a lot of valuable class time for all of us if I just posted the material. Plus, if the explanation is not there at first it gives the students time to think and figure it out instead of me immediately explaining it after the slide.
If students do not do the work prior to class, then they will be behind in their personal and group work. It’s not ideal, but what we are doing in classrooms now is not ideal either. It’s the same concept as if they didn’t do their homework that you assigned in class.
As for the technology issues, our school has iPads/computers for teachers to book out and share. Also, students have Internet assess before class, break, lunch and after school that allows them to do any work they may need.
The role of the teacher must change from a lecturer and being the centre of attention, to a guide and mentor. This does not mean that a teacher sits behind his or her desk. In my mind, as soon as the teacher disengages, it gives the impression that what the students are doing isn’t valuable. I like to model the behaviour I want to see in the room. Being at the desk marking, answering the odd question does not have the same affect as walking around, giving feedback, asking questions and giving positive praise. I think about myself, and if my professor or admin is presenting, but is not participating or helping with the task they give, I immediately take the “why should I do it?” attitude.
I have a lot to learn about the flipped model, but I am interested. I have tried a few things in my classroom that I have learned during this conference and I will discuss my experiences with them at a later time. It’s trial and error right now, but I am trying.