After seeing so many educators on Edmodo blogging about their experiences flipping, I decided that they weren't doing anything I couldn't do! So this is my attempt to record many of the successes and failures I'm experiencing in my classroom this year as a part of my experiment in flipped learning.
For a little context: I have mixed-ability 10th graders in an urban school in San Lorenzo, California (the Bay Area...by Oakland). My classes are in themed academies, and I teach two sections in the Green Academy, and one in Bay Area Digital Arts. The demographics of my classes are reflective of the demographics of the school and district - about half Hispanic/Latino, one-forth African-American, and one-forth white/Pacific Islander.
Here's how it looks in my class right now:
1. For some units, videos have been more prominent than in other units. When we were prepping for the California High School Exit Exam, we used lots of videos in a more traditional "flipped" model. I also used them for when I had to attend a multi-day training so the kids wouldn't lose instructional time. The videos were very skill focused - how to write a business letter, common literary devices, finding main idea, etc. Students reported that they liked the videos, and that they preferred learning that way. Hell, there was even a day where I lost my voice, so I showed them a video during class, and they actually paid more attention to the screen than they would have to me normally. Weird.
2. About a month ago, we went 100% digital and paperless. All of my assignments are posted through Edmodo, and students complete them there.
3. The biggest change came when I hit on the idea to do Live Response. I was watching Britain's Got Talent (I'm a British TV junkie, I'll admit it!), and they kept posting hashtags so people could use twitter to discuss what was happening at that minute on the show. It occurred to me that it is exactly THAT world in which my students live.
So I tried it. I set them all up on Edmodo with a discussion thread and turned them loose while we watched a video (Dave and Trey Go to Africa - about the impact music has on culture). It was a success - far beyond what I had even anticipated. So much so, that I decided to adapt it for reading Elie Weisel's memoir, Night. So they have a kindle edition of the book on their screen (no more, "Can I get my book? I forgot it in my locker!"), and they have either Edmodo, Today's Meet, or Cover It Live open on their browser (I use them for different reasons because they all have strengths and weaknesses as formats).
As they have questions, comments, reflections, connections, or responses to other students, they post. Instantly, I'm able to respond and clarify, or direct them to have conversations with each other. I KNOW they understand, because I can see it clearly. I know they are paying attention. I know they are listening. It's really a beautiful thing.
4. I'm working towards a flipped mastery model. During the Night unit, I gave students diagnostic tests in the four areas in which they would be tested at the end of the unit. From those results, students will be placed at a certain point in each skill, and will work from there. The ones who are already advanced won't have to repeat what they already know. The ones who struggle will get to have the time they need to master one skill before moving on.
Flipping my class has changed everything. Even though I'm in my 8th year of classroom teaching, I feel like I'm starting over and learning so much about how to do what I do better. It's exciting. I haven't been so excited about coming to work in a long time. :-)