In my last post, you read about and were challenged to see where you could link flipped learning to helping Ontario renew its vision for educational excellence.
As it is likely with most models of improvement, they are best designed, implemented, experienced and refined through collaboration. Michael Fullan, in Stratosphere, writes that a "trial-experiment- learn-refine approach" will be required as we learn how technology, pedagogy, and knowledge of system reform combine to help students find their "purpose and passion." From personal experience, I designed and implemented a flipped classroom model in a senior mathematics course. Through the co-experience (i.e., with students), we refined the model so that it helped them to best meet the expectations of learning. For example, shortening videos and providing templates for creating summaries were suggestions used in refining and renewing the process we were engaged in pursuing.
Up to this point, I've mentioned a very important relationship--of paramount importance when it comes to supporting student learning: the teacher-student relationship. As teachers, we have the wonderful privilege of helping students overcome obstacles in learning by instilling a growth mindset. As Stanford University Professors Carol Dweck and Jo Boaler would tell us, a growth mindset is characterized by the belief that learning is not fixed ... that your brain--like a muscle--has the ability to become stronger when it persists through challenging tasks.
But to help students grow their mindsets into one that supports their learning, we, too, need to grow our own efficacies about the subjects we teach and the coaching of learning skills. We have a shared understanding that the most supportive forms of professional learning are those that are collaborative and embedded into our day-to-day experiences--collaborative inquiry supports our learning. Thus, to achieve educational excellence through flipped learning requires that educators are able to engage in meaningful, professional learning about 'flipping' their practice--whether, they're establishing "Flipped 101" or growing their mastery with "Flipped Learning" (Jon Bergmann & Aaron Sams)--and are supported through the process of learning.
To our good fortune, the number of professionals experimenting with flipped models of instruction is growing across both Canada and the US, and there are a number of organizations that are available to helping teachers at getting started and growing their practice. Examples of these organizations include the Flipped Learning Network and Flipped Learning: Turning Learning on Its Head.
Given that there is a growing number of teachers experimenting with flipped models of learning, the 'distance' between them (to engaging in timely, meaningful collaboration around a course of study, set of standards--curriculum or assessment, logistics of management, and/or 'mechanics' of the technologies leveraged) is sometimes far too vast.
Solution? Not all too long ago, I finished reading Flipped Learning: Gateway to Student Engagement (Bergmann & Sams, 2014). And it was within one of the contributing author's chapters that I was inspired to not only consider but to try leveraging current technology in connecting educators who are at similar positions along their 'journey' into flipping their practice.
Contributing author, Delia Bush (p142), explained how she discovered a website called Flipped Learning Journal (FLJ). One of FLJ's resources--and there are many--aims to connect educators, with an interest in flipping, through completion of an on-line web-form. By sharing some contact information and their interests, an educator helps build a network of professional learning from which they, too, can learn--fantastic idea!
If you explore the service's web-form results (in Google Sheets), you'll notice that there are many educators registered--registered from regions across the US and western Canada. Something that you might also notice is that there is relatively smaller representation from Ontario. This left me thinking about the following, "What more can be done, at this time, to help Ontario educators enter into experimenting and/or sharing their expertise with flipping with others?" Do Ontario educators know of this service or others of its type? Could it be that there might be some apprehension as to how effective their learning experience might be if collaborating with others who operate with a different curriculum, set of standards, assessment policy, etc?
Having been inspired by FLJ's web-form service, I took some time to experiment with Google Forms and providing access to potential registrants to the responses collected by the form. The result--Flipped PLN Finder--is a similar service, but I'd like to gear it towards connecting Ontario educators interested in 'flipping' their practice. The link (below post) will take you directly to the form. Along with following #flipclass/#flipchat twitter chats, blogs, and websites, I sincerely hope that the PLN Finder will help Ontario educators find and take a plausible next step in self-directed professional learning.
If you have any questions or comments to make about this post and/or the PLN Finder, please feel free to do so. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's hard to believe that we're nearly three weeks into a new school year! With the passage of time, I'm reminded of an upcoming conference that the Upper Canada District School Board is hosting on October 23rd and 24th at the NavCan Centre in Cornwall, Ontario--the Small School Summit. Along with my colleagues, Andrew Pratt and Sandra Pignon, we'll be presenting a session geared at not only introducing the flipped classroom model to session participants but also what it might look like to reach 'flipped learning.' Full details and registration for the conference are available here.
Part of our presentation focuses on the use of educational technology--specifically, EDpuzzle--in helping craft videos that contain assessment questions--opportunities for a teacher to glean some insights about their students' viewing habits and understanding of what they've watched in teacher-created and/or -curated videos.
What you might find interesting and supportive is an opportunity to engage in the EDpuzzle student experience! In the coming week, I will be opening my EDpuzzle class to you such that you have the opportunity to form your own conclusions about the service. I think you'll like what you see!
Until then, ...
Collegially and Flippingly Yours,
Chris Stewart, OCT
Program Resource Teacher-Mathematics
Upper Canada DSB