Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Flipped Classroom - Plot Twist

The new buzz in teaching is the idea of a "Flipped Classroom." In order to give a basic definition, I am going to quote from the website Educause.

Basically, the material is presented outside of class and the students work on projects inside of the classroom. An even easier to comprehend definition is found on Knewton website. You can click on the link to check it out.

My problem with being able to totally flip a classroom in my situation is the knowledge that many of my students do not have access to the internet at home. I have heard (and even stated) the excuse that students can go to the library and access the internet for free. Yet today, our local library closes at 5:00 pm. I would never expect something from my students that was not universally accessible by all of my students, so I am having to tweak my expectations.

Edmodo has given me the opportunity to provide content online to the students in my classroom. At first, I simply used Edmodo to list each student's activities for the day. However, I have discovered so many features that make it an integral part to my day.

I can create assignments and have students turn their work in to me. You can see by the screenshot above that my current assignment has 16 responses by my class. In addition, I can open their submitted document and provide feedback in the form of a comment on their work. They, in turn, can comment back to me after viewing my comment.

I have flipped my website class to the best of my ability, making links and information available to students on their posts. The students review the information I have provided, and then actively work on their articles for our Tiger's Telegraph website. Below, you will find the post that was sent to the students on November 3rd, indicating the information and work that was expected for the week.

The greatest challenge I have with this class is the notion that they are not on task. The teacher in me wants to organize our class periods in a timely fashion. I have to remind myself, however, that there will be times when they are working collaboratively and it sounds as if they are on off task.  This is a learning experience for me, as well as for my students. I will document our efforts and the successes/failures I find with this teaching method.

Wish us luck!

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