Reflections and Contemplations on Education and such...

Education as I see it at Waukesha West and the world...

Monday, January 9, 2012

So Here’s What I’d Do

So Here’s What I’d Do

My first share comes from a fellow blogger, David Warwick, who explores 10 technology solutions for schools. (His blog by the way is should follow and read)

While not all of these solutions would be practical at the school I teach...I think many would apply and would be great upgrades for all high schools.

My favorite is the first...go as paperless as possible! LMS systems, both paid and free are readily available. In the right circumstances paper copies should become a thing of the past. Students can email or share through Google Docs. In the LMS environment students can upload their work for teachers to see and assess. Memos and other administrative tasks can be accomplished with any of these avenues.

In short...go paperless and reinvest the money into more computers for our students...

The Expansion of this Blog

So lately I have really been into the idea of a PLN.  Plainly put...a Professional Learning Network allows educators to develop their craft outside of the school day.  It allows the teacher to learn on their own, about their craft, and keep up on the important issues of the day as it relates to education.

My main medium for PLN is Twitter.  Twitter is an excellent way to get connect with other educators, hunt and find awesome new resources, and to keep the pulse on educational issues that are not within the building that we teach.

Thus I have been inspired to expand my Flipped Classroom blog and include my own thoughts on the world of education.  Nothing of controversy...just my reflections and thoughts as it relates to the world of education.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It has begun...

Well this week was the beginning of "2nd" semester in my APUSH classes.  We have made the full transition to a content flipped class.  Lectures are now delivered on our class Blackboard site.  I have made the videos unlisted and embedded them within Blackboard through YouTube.  It seemed as if this gave my students the best quality video.

Reactions so far...I feel liberated.  I have always felt like I could never get a handle on lecturing for APUSH.  This format for my class I think will allow for more critical thinking skills to be developed as it relates to APUSH.  For example---today and tomorrow the kids have group work with documents and Friday we will have a class discussion on the current chapter of reading.

There has been much discussion on the flipped classroom.  Here is my take...students can get content lots of ways.  We are dealing with a different generation of learners.  Without a doubt, a high quality teacher is still the number one factor of success for students.  However, the teachers need to change the way we operate with those students.  I think of it this way...doctors  are constantly changing they way they deal with patients based the latest research.  If you are a successful doctor more than likely you are on the cutting edge of medical technology.  Luckily, we do not have doctors treating patients the same way they treated them 25 years ago.  Teachers should be on the cutting edge of the classroom, and not satisfied with the status quo. 

Yet in education we just accept when teachers teach the same way every year.  How many times do I see teachers do things that have been done in the classroom over, and over, and over again.  The common theme here...lack of student engagement. 

I did a student produced video in my Psychology class.  The students had to show me an understanding of conditioning whether it was classical or operant.  After the assignment was finished I did an informal survey and the results were striking.  Students commented that they were happy to apply knowledge rather than spit it out on a test.  Pretty insightful for high school students. 

Is the flipped classroom the final, but I think that one of the things that educators need to do is reexamine if our methods keep up with the current students.  It happens to work well for me so far...