If you teach it, they will come
Over the last two days, I was able to present a professional development course on Edmodo and Flipping the ELA classroom for English teachers in my district. To say it was awesome would be an understatement.
I was able to sit in a classroom with teachers of my same discipline and share the information that I have been gathering and experimenting with all summer. Not only was I able to share, but I was also able to engage in that conversation and learn about the ways they may have been utilizing the Flip Model without being aware of it.
What I learned, after the jump
I learned that while the basic idea/concept of the Flip Model can be explored amongst colleagues of different disciplines, I wholeheartedly believe that the conversation regarding implementation and ideas needs to be separate. A Flipped Classroom for math/science is different than social studies/English and mixing them creates confusion and frustration. So many English teachers have had the experience of hearing about the Khan Academy, Quest, or any of the other video-based instructional platforms, but only to find that once they were navigating the site that they were 90% math or science. They want and need a space of their own.
I learned that there are teachers who are also willing to admit to the possible shortfalls in their instruction and who want to have conversations about how to remedy those issues. I know that I can speak to my own deficits and it was refreshing to hear about others. Not because it’s fun to revel in negativity, but it’s great to have a sounding board with others who can apply their expertise in troubleshooting a problem. It was productive to hear about some of the ways they utilize their classroom time positively and negatively. They may have mentioned a bad idea/practice, but with a little bit of tweaking and positive feedback, it could be a great practice.
It was reaffirmed that teachers are willing and wanting to embrace technology. Even the most timid of teachers took the plunge to ask questions and to learn about Edmodo to disseminate content. They were comfortable in an environment with other teachers and it was great that those with more technological expertise were more than willing to provide the 1:1 interaction that they needed . . . JUST LIKE OUR STUDENTS NEED!
I learned that if one teacher from each school can embrace this model, then the seed is planted. One may be the loneliest number, but that can quickly change to two, three, four etc. with the infectious excitement of a great idea.
(***Sidenote. I had a brilliant idea during one of the sessions while discussing screencasting. If you have a Broadcast Journalism program at your school, find an upperclassmen who has an open period. Request them as your student aide and utilize their skills for the recording/editing of your videos. This way, all you have to worry about is preparing & performing in them, and can leave the labor intensive component to the student!)
I learned many other things, but right now, I want to work. I’m ready to put the pedal to the metal and to practice what I preached.
I hope that I can keep going with these sessions. I love talking about this topic and I love spreading the great word of the Flip Model.