We (Heidi Corbett, Claude D’Souza, and Lisa Nevoral) created a website on Flipped Learning. Please feel free to provide feedback.
There is much discussion around the buzz words “flipped learning” or the “flipped classroom”. Flipped learning is not one set method of teaching content, but rather an ideology. Some teachers completely flip their classrooms while others use a blended approach. What is at the very heart of flipped learning, however, is creating active learners, not just participants sitting on the sidelines of their own learning.
As most teachers know, changing pedagogy always takes time and a lot of planning. As well, just because technology is being utilized does not mean that student learning is occurring. Teachers must use the class time they have gained to create interactive, student-driven lessons that allows for deeper understanding and knowledge making to occur.
Our group decided to create our presentation using Weebly because it allowed us the following affordances: to produce a website that was visually appealing, to create several different pages of information, to embed videos and pictures, and to hyperlink information to other outside sources. We used a variety of multimedia modes of representation within our website to reach all types of learners; we had written text, YouTube videos, created our own video (Camtasia), word pictures (Wordle), pictures, an electronic pin board (Padlet), and cartoon strips (Bitstrips). Additionally, we added a comment portion to the “Literacy” page using a software program called DISQUS and Google Forms for the summary and reflection on the “Introduction” page. We were truly embracing the concept that our viewers had competent digital literacy skills, being able to gain knowledge from each mode of representation we had placed in our website.
Within our website, we decided to focus on four areas of flipped learning. They were as follows: a) explaining the concept of flipped learning, b) the literacy effects behind a flipped learning classroom, c) tools used in flipped learning, and d) feedback from teachers, students, and parents on flipped learning. Also, in our reference section we linked sites that we thought were valuable sources of information about flipped learning as additional resources. We concentrated on these four areas through the scope of video technology because we wanted to give a general overview of what flipped learning entailed. We felt that there were too many aspects to truly do an adequate job if we were to tackle various pedagogies or all the different technologies used within the flipped classroom. Since this ETEC course deals with text and technology, we wanted to connect what we were learning in class to our own project. In a way, this was putting theory (what we learned in class) to use.
As noted before, the flipped classroom is an ideology; it can be taught in many ways and use a wide range of activities. Flipped learning is an example of constructivism and we had this in mind when we created our webpages. To try to emulate the experience of the flipped classroom, our “Introduction” page loosely followed the ideals of such a classroom. We had an interactive activity at the start that hopefully sparked the readers’ interest to learn more about flipped learning, then a video to explain what was the basis behind this classroom, and finally a reflection piece. Reflection and student metacognition is a very important part of the flipped classroom because the learner needs to connect how and what they are learning to outcomes, content, and activities they are doing in class. Our hope is that anyone visiting our site will get a feel as to what is involved in the flipped classroom. References for the “Introduction” page were taken from educators that are immersed in the flipped classroom such as Ramsey Musallam, Dan Spencer, Andrew Miller, Jackie Gerstein, Brian Bennett, and Aaron Sams.
We wanted to connect literacy to the flipped classroom within the scope of digital literacy and educational technology. Using readings from our class as well as external literary sources, the “Literacy” page was organized such that the reader first learns how literacy is being defined in the literature before moving on to the influence of emerging technology on literacy, the impact of this digital literacy on education, and the motivation for then flipping the classroom as a means of achieving literacy in the 21st century.
With a focus on how video technology is used in the flipped classroom, the “Tools” page identifies how content is presented and the tools needed to create, share, and reflect on the videos. Different kinds of content can be covered in the videos and presented in a variety of ways by teachers. While almost all videos include narration, other aspects may differ. Videos may capture paper and a pencil, a digital whiteboard, a powerpoint, or even the face of a teacher. Tools have been made available to teachers to allow them creative control and to accommodate their varying degrees of comfort using technology.
In the “Feedback” page, we tried to provide not only teachers’ perspectives of the flipped classroom, but also those of students and parents. We presented both positive and negative feedback to give a broader point of view of this classroom. It is worthy to note that videos or additional resources made available for students also provided parents a resource to learn the material and allowed them to help their children with class work at home.
In conclusion, the flipped classroom is about embracing active student learning and educators being partners in their students’ learning, instead of dictators of facts. The flipped classroom has many aspects involved with it, ranging from video production to the engaging activities within the classroom. There is not one set way to teach a flipped classroom; each teacher must find what works for them.
Many aspects of the flipped classroom allow educators to provide opportunities to their students to produce 21st Century skills, as well as increase their digital literacy.