Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Flipped Conference Day 2 - TedEd and Bergman and Sams Plenary

Today was the final day of the Flipped Class Conference, and I approached it with excitement and nervousness. The day began with my recording for TedEd. It was cool to see how they record everything and be a part of that process. Unfortunately they aren't ready to do any TedEd videos with foreign language, but they wanted to have the recording on file for when they are ready. However, as with all things, I gained some valuable ideas for the creation of my new videos. I am going to create "stories" to demonstrate my grammar concepts. I think it is going to be time intensive, but I think that the payoff will be great. I am going to start posting my new videos to Sofia, which is a great site that I discovered through Crystal Kirch and they were sponsors of the Flipped Class Conference. They are doing some great things on their site, and although the language offerings are thin now, I am hoping that with all the new language flippers they will grow.

The plenary given by Jon Bergman and Aaron Sams was, of course, the highlight of the day. They had so many great points, and I know that there will be so many comments out their about their presentation. In my opinion, there are two things that really stood out about their presentation. First, their message (which they say frequently) which is that their is no "right" way to incorporate the flip in the classroom. Teachers need to think about their students, curriculum, teaching styles and environment and decide how the flipped classroom best fits their needs. The flip is NOT a cure for all of the issues in education today, but it is a move in the right direction. The best way they showed this was the empty slide....it didn't have a step-by-step for putting the flip in a classroom....a powerful "lack" of a slide.

The second was when they talked about the Flipped Class 101. I think this is the most important thing for new flippers to remember. When you start, it is ok to have easy, basic videos. It is ok to use some worksheets while you are figuring out to do with all the new class time. What is not ok is to stop there. Teachers have to continue to improve not only the videos, but the types of assignments and assessments that you give your students. Making a big change like a flip is hard, and you aren't going to perfect it in one year. The only thought I have to add is for new flippers to write their story. Whether it be a public blog or a private notebook. Keep track of what you are doing, what works, and all those "next year, I am doing it this way" ideas. We continue to expect more from our students, and we need to continue to expect more from ourselves.

With that said, I am ready to accept the challenge of Flipped Class 201! Who's with me?