Tag Archives: learning

Flipping the teacher

If I’d suggested flipping the teacher while I was still at school, I would have been in serious trouble. Given my reputation though, it wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary.

I once spread a rumour at primary school that my tyrant of a head teacher had died (wishful thinking), and when he came back from sick leave, I wasn’t the most popular child in the school. Having said that, many of the kids began to believe in the resurrection of the dead.

Once, during a chemistry lesson in secondary school, I was larking around and accidentally burnt a big hole in my teacher’s pretty floral dress with concentrated acid.

He was furious.

I got into a fair few scrapes and a lot of mischief, but suggesting that we ‘flip the teacher’ would have been the last straw.

Today, the idea of flipping the classroom is a familiar one. Flipping teachers may not be so familiar. Don’t panic though – I’m not advocating violence, nor am I suggesting children use obscene gestures. Flipping teachers is about swapping roles. I have already written about this in previous posts. The idea that teachers should become students so that their students can act as teachers may still be contentious and problematic, but I believe that as we see more flipped classroom approaches, the argument for also flipping the role of the teacher will become more compelling, and eventually more acceptable.

A little history: Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann developed the term ‘flipped classroom’ by considering the time spent by teachers with their students in classroom. They wished to maximise this time, and developed a number of strategies that involved instruction taking place outside the walls of the classroom. Inside, with the teacher present, students were able to explore their learning in more depth and detail, capitalising on ‘face time’ with the expert. The work of Harvard University professor Eric Mazur supports this approach, because, as he says – instruction is easier than assimilation, and advocated coaching rather than lecturing as early as the 1990s. This is not new of course. For centuries, innovative teachers have been trying to find other more effective methods of pedagogy that can take the place of lecturing and instruction.

If we are at all serious about promoting student centred learning, then we should at least reconsider the roles teachers traditionally play at the centre of the process, and begin to discover how we can help the student replace them. This does not mean that teachers relinquish their responsibilities or shirk their obligations. What it does mean is that teachers should seriously consider new forms of pedagogy where students are placed at the centre of the learning process, and have to spend some time ‘teaching’. We learn by teaching. If you have to teach or present something for an audience, you will make damn sure you go away and learn it thoroughly so you don’t make an absolute ass of yourself. This is the same principle we see when we flip the teacher.

Here are just five ways you can flip the teacher:

  1. Ask students to peer-teach. This form of paragogy ensures that all students need to know something about the topic before they teach it, and can also learn from each other during the process. Even better, get them to teach you something you don’t already know about.
  2. Give your students a problem to solve. Ask them to come back later to show how they solved the problem, and get them to defend their solution. If they all have different solutions, the fun can start.
  3. Students create a self-directed project that encapsulates the principles or facts of the topic they are learning. It can be in the form of a video, or presentation, or role play, or even a blues song (be creative). Just as long as they ‘perform’ their work in front of an audience.
  4. Act as a student, and ask your students awkward questions about what they have learnt. Challenge them to explain clearly what they know. This approach ensures that they must think more critically and reflectively about what they have learnt, and that they need to justify their decisions.
  5. The age old seminar is a great flipping method. Ensure that each student has time to study a specific aspect of the course, and prepares teaching materials. They then get to present their work in front of you and their peer group, and are also tasked to encourage discussion by preparing some key questions.

I gratefully acknowledge Max Brown for giving me permission to use his most excellent cartoon that depicts flipping the teacher.

Graphic by Max Brown

Creative Commons License
Flipping the teacher by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Free webinar: Learning the 21st century way: Making sense of how to use social media for learning

In this one-hour webinar, I’ll share exactly how I incorporated social media (and in particular, Twitter) into one of my classes. I’ll share what worked, what didn’t and what you can do in your own teaching or training practice to effectively integrate social media ‐ and why you might want to.

Over the past decade social media has changed how individuals connect online and share information and how organizations interact with stakeholders and customers. Did you know that social media is now being incorporated into learning programs from Kindergarten right on up through adult education? Does it really add any value to the learning process?

By the end of the webinar you will:

  • Have a basic understanding of how social media can add value to your learning programs
  • Gain insight into how to incorporate social media into a lesson plan
  • Get ideas on how to assess activities using social media
  • Get ideas on how to incorporate social media into your own learning programs

There will be time for questions at the end of the webinar.

This free webinar is sponsored by Essential Skills Ontario. Here are the details:

Date: Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Time:

10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (Vancouver, BC)
11:00 a.m. Mountain Time (Calgary, AB)
1:00 p.m.  Eastern Time (Toronto, ON)
2:00 p.m. – Atlantic Time (Halifax, NS)
6:00 p.m. – British Summer Time (London U.K.)
7:00 p.m. – Eastern European Time (Cairo, Egypt)

It’s free for you to join in, but you must register, since there are only 100 spots available.  Click here to register.

Full Text: Free webinar: Learning the 21st century way: Making sense of how to use social media for learning « Literacy, Languages and Leadership.

Does More Tech in the Classroom Help Kids Learn?

Kids using technology

As more educational programs turn digital, teachers are finding that blending technology into the learning experience offers kids a crucial leg up in the classroom.

Karen Martinez’s daughter, Daniella, graduated fifth grade with honors this year and is now reading at a sixth grade level. Just two years ago, she was diagnosed as a special-needs child who struggled with reading. What made the change? Her mother pulled her out of a school that rarely used computers for learning, enrolling her in Rocketship Education, one of five charter schools in San Jose, California. Students there spend 25% of their school day in a computer lab with online content targeted to their development level. “My daughter was broken and now she’s starting to mend,” Martinez says.

The goal of Rocketship is to help close the achievement gap by serving low-income students who don’t have the advantages of their wealthy peers. It’s just one of the many schools following a fast-accelerating trend called “blended learning,” where students spend a portion of their day engaging in technology. And it seems to be working. Rocketship schools were the highest-performing elementary schools serving low income students in California last year, according to scores on a state standardized test — outperforming even schools in more affluent areas.

Full Text: Does More Tech in the Classroom Help Kids Learn?.

10 Key Reasons Why Curation Will Transform Education and Learning

Content curation will play a major role both in the way we “teach” and in the way we educate ourselves on any topic. When and where it will be adopted, it will deeply affect many key aspects of the educational ecosystem.

content-curation-education-learning-430-ss-69341932.jpg
Photo credit: Shutterstock

This article, builds up over my recent presentation on Content Curation for Education that I delivered at Emerge2012 virtual conference.

In that presentation I claimed that the adoption of “curation approaches” will directly affect the way competences are taught, how textbooks are put together, how students are going to learn about a subject, and more than anything, the value that can be generated for “others” through a personal learning path.

If we learn not by memorizing facts, but by collaborating with others in the creation of a meaningful collection-explanations of specific topics/issues/events then, for the first time in history, we can enrich planetary knowledge each time we take on a new learning task.

And it’s already happening.

Yes, we are only at the very early stages, but, in my humble opinion, there are enough signs and indications that this is not going to be something marginal.

In this article I outline ten key factors, already at work, which, among others, will very likely pave the way for a much greater and rapid adoption of curation practices in the educational / academic world.

These factors are:

    1. An Overwhelming Abundance of Information Which Begs To Be Organized

 

    1. A Growing Number of “Open” Teaching / Learning Content Hubs

 

    1. Constantly Changing Information

 

    1. Real-World Info Is Not Held Inside Silos

 

    1. Fast-Food Info Consumption in Decline

 

    1. Job Market Changing – New Skills Needed

 

    1. Alternative Certification Systems Emerging

 

    1. Teachers Can Curate Their Textbooks

 

    1. Educational Marketplace Open to Thousands of Competitors

 

  1. Demand for Trusted Guidance

See the article for the full details: Why Curation Will Transform Education and Learning: 10 Key Reasons.

7 Things You Should Know About Navigating the New Learning Ecosystem

Educause

The LMS was once the undisputed center of the digital learning ecosystem. But on many campuses, the situation has changed such that the campus online learning environment might be better viewed as a continuum, with the LMS at one end and a student’s own collection of applications, tools, and websites at the other. This proliferation of tools has created a more robust and varied teaching and learning environment, one that is frequently managed actively by students or by faculty who are seeking alternatives not offered by local IT. The value may extend beyond students’ relationship with technology, helping them become better organizers and more savvy consumers as they assume more responsibility for their own learning.

The “7 Things You Should Know About…” series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.

Full Text: 7 Things You Should Know About Navigating the New Learning Ecosystem | EDUCAUSE.

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Putting Personality into Online Teaching | EDU News

Putting Personality into Online Teaching . By Michael Keathley.

This post is a bit embarrassing for me as it involves a bit of confession. About 12 years ago when I was forced to add online courses to the English, humanities, and foreign language departments I chaired, one of my first thoughts was vain and self-absorbed. Perhaps like many instructors who evolved their teaching artistry in an era where the “sage on the stage” turned into the coach on the side, I truly believed my students needed to be motivated and inspired by the dynamism and energy I brought to our learning team face-to-face (F2F). I wondered: How can I do this in a virtual class? How can a course be reduced to just black font within a white computer window?

See more here:
Putting Personality into Online Teaching | EDU News

Designing eLearning

Facilitating an online environment has its own set of characteristics and challenges. 

When designing online learning, it’s more important to drive it from the learning challenge rather than the technology perspective. You also need to design for student activity rather than delivery of content. Unlike a classroom setting, all the materials need to be prepared and structured in advance.

(YouTube Video 3:00 Minutes)

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