In his latest publication, Alan November asks teachers … who owns the learning? This is just one question which helps the forward-thinking teacher or school leader reflect upon classroom practice, ensuring that students are given opportunities to shape meaning and purpose to their own learning and that of their peers.
Whilst some will see risks to this, given the demands of the curriculum and assessment system, the use of technology and appropriate tools can support this ideal in the following ways …
- For gaining access to the right information and knowing how to manage that information, apply it and communicate it;
- For wide (ideally, global) collaboration and publication of information and ideas – also transforming students into producers of learning as well as consumers;
- Enabling student thinking to become more visible to themselves, their peers and their teacher;
- Offering students a means to providing a library of their learning which they can access at any time, anywhere … and in turn, to build a legacy of learning for younger students;
- Allowing more effective use of teacher time in personalising the learning for all students;
Flipped classroom model
There is much talk currently of the ‘flipped classroom model’, championed by Eric Mazur at Harvard University. After years of giving traditional lectures and being frustrated by the fact that graduating students seemed unable to apply their learning, Mazur started recording lectures for his students to watch during the night before; and so, in class time, Mazur posed questions on those videos which the students had to answer. Students with different answers were paired or grouped and each student asked to convince their peers that THEIR answer was the correct one.
In this flipped model where class time is divorced from teacher-delivered explanation, there is more understanding and probably better teaching. Also, the fact that students become peer tutors – helping others to work through flaws in their thinking means that the whole experience becomes more meaningful.
The flipped classroom model will appeal to those teachers who are already interested in blended learning techniques but beware of accounts that simply identify the flip with creating videos for students to watch outside the classroom … for what technology offers are opportunities to take the learning into many other different media and locations. There may also be a need to offer extension activities to more competent students, so that they can start thinking critically about what they’ve viewed/read/learned outside class time.
We believe that every child has talent … and so this section of the website will report on the work of innovative teachers in unlocking that potential and the technology practices which are proving particularly effective. Also the actions of those who are anxious to ensure that the future of education and the shaping of pedagogic practice sits inside the profession itself.
Pioneering teachers who are leading the way in implementing
practice that leverage the capabilities of their students to take
a more active, constructive role in the learning process:
Eric Mazur video: Confessions of a Converted Lecturer (watch on YouTube)
Greg Green, Clintondale High School, video: Taking a Risk with At Risk Kids
Catlin Tucker, blog post 2012: Flipped Classroom-Beyond the Videos
Shelley Wright, blog post 2012: The Flip-End of a Love Affair (but taking the Flip to the next level!)
A compiled resource exemplifying flipped classroom models
Flipped Learning Network
On Twitter, follow hashtags #flipclass #flippedclass #edchat #edtech