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Thursday, January 12, 2012

3 Tips on Flipping Your Classroom with #iPads #flippedclassroom

Source: http://goo.gl/k01Rj

How would you flip a classroom with iPads? For fun, here's a quick exploration of 3 ways it might happen with iPad apps. If you're already doing it, please share a link in the comments area!


It seems pretty obvious that flipped classroom are an idea that have enchanted many folks. After all...consider the excerpts from articles I've been reading lately:


EdLab's Misconceptions about the Flipped Classroom Model:The Flipped Classroom model is the shifting of the classroom paradigm, so that lectures can be seen at home, while homework activities are done in class. This is to allow more time for applying the knowledge and receiving more personal help from the educator.
USAToday's Flipped Classrooms Take Advantage of Technology:
...teachers say flipped, or upside-down, classes offer greater control of material and more face time with students. In many cases, software allows students to chat online while watching the videos. Tegrity, a Silicon Valley firm that specializes in flipped instruction, allows students to time-stamp lecture notes. It boasts more than 1million student users, many of them in higher education.
Elevated Math's A Case for the Flipped Classroom
The flipped classroom is all about “making connections with learners and differentiating your instruction.”  Therefore, a teacher can have such a classroom as long as the needs of all learners are being met.  Bennett is commended for meeting the needs of his learners.  However, for a classroom to truly be “flipped,” prepared instruction must continue at home, not just in the classroom...what matters are “the relationships, the discussions, and the experiences,” then the flipped classroom provides an effective use of classroom time to build relationships, engage in serious discussions, and provide meaningful experiences for all learners. And let’s not forget one more advantage. The flipped classroom allows more time for student interaction with the teacher. The disadvantage comes when a student does not have access to the technology — an iPad or the Internet to watch instructional apps or videos.
Dangerously Irrelevant's The 'flipped classroom' webinarDespite its now-famous Dan-Pink-sponsored affiliation with our esteemed colleague, Karl Fisch, is the 'flipped classroom' a true innovation or just a new label on the old stale wine of lectures? Is it something we should be encouraging or discouraging? If it has benefits, are they worth the accompanying drawbacks?
American Public Media's Rethinking the Way College Students Are TaughtResearch conducted over the past few decades shows it's impossible for students to take in and process all the information presented during a typical lecture, and yet this is one of the primary ways college students are taught, particularly in introductory courses...Here's how he does it [peer instruction]: Before each class, students are assigned reading in the textbook. Pretty standard for a lecture class, but if you talk to college students you'll find that many of them don't bother with the reading ahead of time. They come to class to figure out what information the professor thinks is important, then they go to the textbook to read up on what they didn't understand. He expects students to familiarize themselves with the information beforehand so that class time can be spent helping them understand what the information means.
Edudemic's How a Flipped Classroom WorksMy thinking was, if I flipped the classroom, and provided the instructional/demonstration part of the course material as a series of video tutorials, that students could then work at their own pace, on their own time, to learn the software, rewinding, fast forwarding and repeating the lessons as needed – and apply what they’d learned as their homework during class time instead.
You can imagine that lots of folks are giving the idea of a "flipped classroom" some serious scrutiny. I won't bother going into the reasons why some folks--I have no opinion on the matter yet, except to say I'm intrigued and would like to try it out in one of my workshops--are not supportive of flipped classroom approaches/ideology, etc. The question going around in my head is, what kind of technologies can be used to support a flipped classroom?

Now, I haven't given this serious thought and I'm just playing with ideas here in a very superficial way, but it's fun to consider the following:

The elements of a flipped classroom include the following:

1) An easy way to record video/audio/screencasts and make those available to students, even when they are not connected to the Internet. 

Recording video/audio doesn't seem to be too difficult with iPads. The problem is making them quickly available to others, especially students in this scenario, without having everyone sync their iPads to iTunes. How can students access newly created content residing on one computer in the classroom and then save it to their iPads? The solution is obvious--AirPlay It, a free server and iPad/iOS/Android app that makes it easy to either stream video/audio or save it onto your device.

As you might imagine, recording video/audio with an iPad isn't necessary in an environment where you can take full advantage of a video camera or digital audio recorder, drop the file on a computer with AirPlayIt Server installed, then students with iPads running the app can install. However, there's no reason why you need limit yourself and NOT create video with an iPad (or pay $.99 for Wes Fryer's tutorial!). Or, you can also use an app like Qik--although this may not be a free option for long--to record video and broadcast it.

If your focus is on audio, then the free Dragon Dictation may be better suited to your needs. Record your audio, then stream it.

2) A way for students to process information and ideas, taking notes on what they are learning as they're exploring a topic or "meeting a problem" for the first time.

What technology could be used to help students take notes on what they are learning? Obviously, EverNote (free) and Notability ($.99) come to mind. If you're not familiar with EverNote--have you seen John Larkin's Evernote Workshop handout? Really neat!--there's a lot to love and encourage students to use. EverNote provides a lot of value for free, but you can tap into a lot more if you pay.

Notability is an alternative...I haven't played with it since I can't afford it (I'm on a free iPad app account), but it's definitely worth introducing to students if you're going to invest. Again, the idea of providing a virtual space students can use to explore a topic, share what they are thinking is critical in learning and has to be modeled. 


3) How could you use technology to deepen the relationships, discussions and the experiences students are going through?

There are a lot of traditional solutions--whether it's Edmodo (which has an iPad appjoining  GoogleApps for Education in February, 2012 or MyMoodle--there are increasing choices that can help students deepen the learning conversations taking place.

Whew, that was harder than I thought it would be. How do you see iPad fitting into the flipped classroom?



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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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