Upcoming Flipped Classroom Webinar

Thanks to my Khan Academy rants of late, I’ll be participating on the panel for a one-hour webinar on the “flipped classroom.” It’s hosted by Scott McLeod, an education professor at Iowa State University and Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). Here’s the info on the webinar, taken from McLeod’s blog:

WHAT: Webinar – The ‘flipped classroom’

Despite its now-famous Dan-Pink-sponsored affiliation with our esteemed colleague, Karl Fisch, is the ‘flipped classroom’ a true innovation or just a new label on the old stale wine of lectures? Is it something we should be encouraging or discouraging? If it has benefits, are they worth the accompanying drawbacks? Please join us for a lively, 1-hour online discussion about the ‘flipped classroom.’

WHEN: June 15, 2:00pm to 3:00pm Central Standard Time (Chicago). Yes, we’ll record it and put the link here for those who can’t attend.

WHERE: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/flippedclassroom [enter as a guest]

WHO: An all-star lineup of educators who have been writing and thinking about this topic lately!

Not familiar with the ‘flipped classroom’ concept? Read the Dan Pink link above and/or click on the names of the participants above. Anyone is welcome to contribute questions for discussion beforehand. It should be a lively discussion. Hope to see you there!

I’m honored to be taking part with these great teacher-thinkers. In particular, Karl Fisch, Jerrid Kruse, and Syliva Martinez have helped further my thinking about technology and inquiry in math and science. Go follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their blogs!

At the webinar, I’d like to address the intersection of flipping and inquiry. And so I ask you: What do you see as the pros/cons of flipping in an inquiry-centered (physics) classroom?

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6 responses to “Upcoming Flipped Classroom Webinar

  1. Well, on the plus side, it certainly puts the students in a more active mode. On the negative side, it does make it hard to have any sort of group experience with the material when it is first received. Maybe that’s not necessary.

  2. Sounds like a great event — I’m looking forward to it. It would be great if some of the usual crossed wires could be disentangled so that the panel doesn’t get tripped up in them:

    1. Flipping does not have to mean screencasting. It is entirely possible (and not very new) to “flip” with any reference material. A textbook is one possibility. Non-textbook text is another possibility. What if the “at home” work was a collection of lab records from a famous experiment (primary source documents) or student-selected documents/resources? (Either, “For homework, it is your turn to select a resource for the class to discuss” or “For homework, everyone must find one resource that will help us understand X”). How is the “flipped” classroom the same as/different from a humanities class where you are expected to read something and come prepared to discuss/debate/reenact tomorrow?

    2. The screencast/textbook does not have to be the first point of contact with the material.

    3. Even if, by “flipped,” we mean “a video of the teacher talking about things you’ve never heard of before,” it doesn’t have to be either passive or solitary. It doesn’t preclude using a backchannel, asking students to answer questions in response, or asking students to formulate questions in response (JITT style).

    In response to your question, I’m not sure that my classroom qualifies as inquiry-centered — maybe more like “drifting towards inquiry.” ;) But so far I’ve found both screencasts and textbooks to be a lot like dictionaries: they’re most helpful as a reference for material that needs to be memorized or repeatedly looked up. That’s a pretty small percentage of what I teach, but it’s not zero. Or at least, I haven’t found a way to get it to zero yet (and, though my goal is to minimize it, I doubt that 0% memorization is possible or even desirable). I’m guessing here, but I suspect that an underlying philosophical disagreement in this conversation is about which things we want our students to memorize, and how much time should be spent on those things. There may also be some interesting applications of having students design the screencasts. Or decide which things deserve to be made into screencasts. I’ve only just started exploring this — I hesitate to hold one student accountable for creating a product that’s good enough to use as a reference, early enough in a semester that it’s useable by other students, but I’m still experimenting.

  3. I’m really anticipating this, because I’m looking into flipping a couple of my courses next semester.

    Flipping does not have to mean screencasting. It is entirely possible (and not very new) to “flip” with any reference material. A textbook is one possibility.

    I’m really glad to hear this point of view (at least, from someone other than myself).

  4. Sounds like a great event. I haven’t read much from the other writers, but I followed your writing on the Khan Academy. I particularly enjoyed the post where you wrapped up your comments on KA. I think your final comments demonstrated your knowledge of KA arguments surrounding it. I hope many people have a chance to hear your arguments and opinions.

    Great website by the way.

  5. I think the a good point to make is that the introduction can definatley occur in the classroom the day before a topic is assigned at home. . . as a teaser and a way to get the students thinking before they sit and learn at home. I am a huge advocate for flipping the classroom and I feel that it encourages curiousity to exsist and I have come to know that knowledge is a separate thing from intelligence, and curiosity breeds intelligence. I would expect teachers to know their material in a whole new way after giving students the ability to have freedom of curiousity.

  6. So sorry I can’t see it live due to the NY Regents Exam, but looking forward to the replay. Break a leg Frank!!!

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