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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Do You Flip?

Flipped classroom are required at some schools, but not at our school.  And I think that is good. I think flipping is great, but I think you should want to do it.  I had my reservations before I began.  I was worried about how to make the videos, and I was worried about all of my kids having access to the videos.  I was worried about my time and theirs.

My turning point was a Conference for Advancement of Science Teaching (aka Science Teacher Nerd Camp).  At one CAST workshop I went to I walked away with a two key insights.

1. Jump in

If you think you want to do it - do it.  There is no better way than just jumping in.  If you wait until you have all the answers you may not start.  The best way to learn is by doing.

2.  When it comes to videos: You can have it perfect, or you can have it Tuesday.

My videos are far from perfect. I have my phone ringing in videos, my kid talking to me, Scooby Doo playing in the background.  And I could re-do the videos, but the next one will still be imperfect.  But I am not perfect in class also.

Since then I have been an AP Summer Institute.  Another teacher was at a school that required all classrooms to be flipped.  And this teacher only used other teachers videos.  If I was forced to flip then I may resort to this as well, but for me, I want my kids to be watching me whenever possible.  I will have them watch a video or two by someone else - I refer to these as guest speakers.  They don't show up often, but I want my kiddos to know that there are other options out there if they are need a different explanation or if the need help next year in college.

I am only flipping my AP class at this point.  In my district it is tough to force technology on students.  So my AP class is the only one that makes sense to me at this point.  Most of those kids have smart phones and can access YouTube.  If they don't have that option they are highly motivated enough to make use of technology at school.  They either stay after their zero period class, or can use their teacher's aide or office aide time to watch videos.  And we don't have videos every night at this point.  I figure I have another two years before I have videos for all sections I cover.

As far as making the video I use an app on my iPad called Doceri.  I found Doceri when I was using another app that I liked but it wouldn't post to YouTube, and Doceri does post to YouTube.  I wish I could go back and re-do all of the videos I made before I learned about using their stops, but I am trying to finish all videos before re-making any that are already done.  (I need to keep telling myself this).  To find out more about Doceri, check out Chonte's video.

When I first flipped my classroom it was November (a couple of years back now).  And I had students make review videos first.  This allows us review videos for them to access anytime, and it allows them to see what it takes to make the videos.  Unfortunately those were all made on something that was YouTube-able ... I wonder if it is now ... nope ... still not an option.

Different people flip in different ways for different reason.  My ideas:  I like students taking notes without me standing over their shoulder, I like them working with the information from that lecture with me standing over their shoulder.  I like that the students can take notes at their own pace and can hit pause and rewind.  My general lecture takes about 10-15 minutes without student wait time.  I like that the videos help to make the students independent learners.  I like that the videos can be accessed by the students later for review, and for students who are absent.

What I love most is that your flipped classroom can look like whatever you want it to be!

What concerns or questions do you have about flipping?  What do you like best and least about flipping?

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