Flipping tradition for our technology era – EduTECH 2017 review
Disclosure: My attendance at EduTECH 2017 was through a media pass provided by the organisers.
In 2014, whilst on my final professional experience placement as part of my initial teacher education, my supervising teacher was exploring flipped learning. We had a chat about his understanding of what it was, how it worked, and how he was modifying things to suit his class. That particular class was a combined Year Five and Six class and he was using what I now know is in-flipping. The experience was enough to whet my appetite and so when I saw that Jon Bergmann was running a masterclass on flipped learning as part of the FutureSchools conference the following year, I registered and began my journey down the flipped learning rabbit hole.
As of early this year, I have been employed with ClickView, whose core business plays neatly into flipped learning. As part of being an exhibitor at EduTECH this year, ClickView were invited to run three thirty-minute breakout sessions, and I was asked to run them on flipped learning. It would have been very easy to talk for thirty minutes about flipped learning from a ClickView perspective, however, as a teacher I know how annoyed I have been in the past to be given a sales pitch in the breakout session. It would also have been incredibly simple to spend the thirty minutes explaining what flipped learning is and why it is so useful as a paradigm for education. Again, as a teacher I would have been annoyed to have been given a presentation in a breakout session which had nothing I could take away and put into practice and so I decided to flip the breakout session, recording the below pre-learning video:
The above video is a very brief introduction to the why and what of flipped learning, however, there is enough in there to give anyone watching it a basic understanding. This meant that in the breakout session, my colleague Josh Aghion and I could spend the entirety of the session focused on the how of flipped learning. The reason I wanted to do that is that I wanted the audience to have an understanding that:
- flipped learning can be easy;
- can be cheap to implement both financially and in regards to time;
- and that there are plenty of resources to support their learning as they develop their flipped classroom skills.
Post-EduTECH Session Learnings and Comments
I realised when I returned to my hotel room that night that I had forgotten to talk about one important potential use for flipped learning and that is for our own professional development. I made a short comment about it over Periscope that night. I also realised, after I had been asked on Twitter that afternoon about flipping with classes of infants, that I had completely forgotten to speak about in flip vs out flip and so made a slightly longer comment over Periscope on the weekend about flipping in an infants’ class.
How to Build a Forward Board for Flipped Lessons
I was chuffed to hear that after each breakout session there was a mini influx to the ClickView stand of people wanting to know more about my forward board. The plans for my forward board, the one on the ClickView stand, are freely available here and includes a list of materials and costings, a time lapse video of the construction process, and step by step instructions. As I mentioned in the sessions, mine cost me $315 in materials and about three hours of labour to make. A second set of hands is helpful or needed at a few points, but it is a fairly easy process and would potentially make a good project for a senior TAS class. You can see an example here of what a video looks like as raw footage and as finalised footage here.
Instant Results: A New Flipped Teacher
It was also exciting to see and hear the impact of the presentation. James Gray tweeted that he had gone home and made his first flipped video, and another came to ask me some questions and had her daughter (currently in Year Six) who wanted to know how she could convince her teacher to use flipped learning. We are in the process of organising an interview as I want to hear more from mother and child about their perspectives on flipped learning.
I personally feel like the breakout sessions were a success. The feedback has been largely positive (though if you do have constructive feedback, please let me know), and the conversations on Twitter that I have had as a result have also been positive with people wanting to know more.
If you do want to learn more about flipped learning, I have restructured my Starting with Flipped Learning page on my own blog to be more user-friendly with distinct sections. It has a range of other resources that you will find useful, including review articles from FlipCon 2016 and 2015. We also have a page on the ClickView website dedicated to the flipped classroom and how you can use the ClickView platform and our interactive video tools to flip your classroom. I am also in the process of planning more videos on the how side of flipped learning. Additionally, if you have not done so I highly encourage you to undertake the Flipped Learning Certification as it is a very comprehensive program that covers all areas of flipped learning.