Monday, June 30, 2014

If Flipping is NOT for you

One of the major concerns about the Flipped Classroom model is what happens when students don't have internet access at home or after school programs. I must confess so far this has been one of my major concerns about embracing the program. Teaching in a school where over 90 percent of students qualify for free meals, it's not hard to determine that many will struggle with assignments that require for them to watch videos or complete assignments over the internet. So I felt really ecstatic when I found Jennifer Gonzalez blog entry about In-Class version of the Flipped Classroom (published on March 2014 by Edutopia.

Gonzalez, a teacher, author, and blogger, shares her vision of how the In-Class model can in effect be an alternative for those teachers who want to adopt the program but might face adversities such as lack of technology, parental support, students' buy-in, etc. She explains,

  • "An In-Class Flip works like this. Just like with a traditional flip, the teacher pre-records direct instruction, say in a video lecture. But instead of having students view the content at home, that video becomes a station in class that small groups rotate through. The rest of their time is spent on other activities -independent work and group work- with some activities related to the lesson and others focusing on different course content. As with a traditional flip, the direct instruction runs on its own, which frees te teacher for more one-on-one time with students."

This blended model offers an alternative configuration for delivering and differentiating instruction, while incorporating technology in a meaningful way.

Here's a video created by Gonzales for the  In-Class Flip model: 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Free Book

Check out this FREE book about Flipping the Classroom! Author Sarah Waters describes the flipped classroom and provides several ideas for its implementation. You can download it from the App store to your iBooks for your iPad or Mac or from the iTunes to your computer.

A Look inside the Flipped Classroom

This short video, from the Flipped Institute, briefly explains what a Flipped Classroom entails.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

PDs in Tech times

An interesting new view of teachers' professional developments. No more sitting through disengaging and boring presentations. If we are to tailor our teaching toward students' needs, shouldn't our PDs also be tailored to teachers' needs and interests? I'm all for it! Check this interesting resource from edSurge.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Flipped Classroom: What is it?

I have heard a lot lately about “flipping the classroom” (thus the title of this blog) and what it means in an era of technology in education. As with any new concept there are  pros and cons as whether this model is effective or not. According to ASCD research is still in process to demonstrate the effectiveness of flipped classrooms, still preliminary results indicate that overall those teachers who have implemented this method have seen positive results not only in test scores but also in learners’ attitudes. This impact is also evidenced in teachers’ satisfaction with their jobs as they reach diverse groups of students including those with special needs. In spite of the initial challenges, most teachers revealed that they would continue implementing the model in their future classrooms. Is a flipped classroom for you?
Flipping the Classroom
Check this infographic from Knewton for more information about this method.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

We got iPads, Now What?

After a few months of over excitement for the impending deployment of iPads in the classroom, a couple of months ago, finally, they arrived into the classroom. Each student, from grades K to 5th received an iPad.
  •     Children asked, “can we play games?”
  •  “We’ll see”, answered the teachers.
Teachers began to search among the myriad of apps in the app world for applications with our new iPads. We explored the App store, interchanged ideas, learned how to use some apps. Yet …I'm still not satisfied with just finding apps for my students to use with their iPads.

I'ts not about the app, it's about the lesson...

Because I am a teacher, I am a learner so this summer my learning goal is to learn how to use iPads in the classroom. No I don’t just want to find apps that are wonderful and entertaining for students. Teaching ought to be intentional for learning to be successful. Providing students with an iPad and teaching them how to use an app, is just a tool toward the process of learning, it’s not the objective.
So in this blog, I guess, I will journal my journey toward learning how to BEST (please note the emphasizing of the word BEST) use the iPad to TEACH in the classroom.  The good news is that chances are that if I want to teach something: “there’s an App for that.”
The App Universe is as vast as the stars’ universe, with new ones created every day. So the aim is not to just learn how to use an app, but how apps can support, expand, and enhance the teaching and learning process. The good news for those dedicated teachers who still hold the dream of teaching is that there’s also a legion of teachers and leaders working in finding and applying new concepts to theories and philosophies of education. In their blogs, websites, and other web 2.0 tools they share their knowledge and findings with those of us who are starting in this world full of new and exciting possibilities.

As I start this journey, I would  share some of my findings and hope that you will share yours with me.  As always: Happy Teaching, Happy Learning!