Last Friday, I presented to my class about 2 contributions on Edge.org. My partner Ben and I read pieces by Gerd Gigerenzer and Marti Hearst. Both author wrote about how they think the internet has changed us. Gigerenzer hand Hearst shared many similar views about the internet as not only a massive library of infinite types of materials, but also a library of people thoughts and reactions on such materials. Ben and I decided to focus our presentation on this key point.
Ben had an idea to create a flipped classroom for our lesson plan. Accomplishing this meant that our classmates/students had a bit of extra homework other than the reading the night before our lesson. Ben made a video using Powtoon that illustrated the main points of our reading that we focused on a bit during the lesson. I created a Thinglink to organize all of our materials for the lesson.
I started the lesson by leading a short discussion. I asked questions about how Gigerenzer’s and Hearst’s views influenced a classroom. Our “students” came up with many good points, such as students expect instant gratification and feedback because of the internet, and families expect to have nearly constant access to the teacher because of online communication. After the discussion, Ben introduced the GoAnimate activity where students created short cartoons to illustrate one of the author’s main points. Ben also created an example of a video to let our students know what sort of information they could feel free to include.
We gave the class nearly 15 minutes to work on their cartoons. Afterward, they tweeted their links to the final project and we watched a couple of examples. I was really pleased that people didn’t all choose to represent the same author in their video. There were several videos to represent each author.
After sharing two of the cartoons, I spent some time at the end of the lesson to talk about the tech tools that we chose to use during our presentation. We delivered the affordances and constraints of each tools, and several students shared ideas about how they could incorporate them into their own lessons. We also spoke to the class about how me flipped the classroom and what the preparation for that looked like. I made sure to include details about why many teachers choose to use a flipped lesson plan.
Before our team teach, I was feeling very nervous that the main idea of our readings would not come across. I wondered if we were giving too much time and attention to the tech and not enough to the content and pedagogy. During the lesson, I was really glad that people seemed eager to participate and engaged really well with the tool. They created wonderful and funny cartoons that reiterated the main points from the reading.
After some reflection time about the outcome of our lesson, I’m still not sure if this was the best platform to trial a flipped classroom. I love the idea and think that it can be very well utilized in several types of classrooms. For this project, however, I felt like time was very tight. I’m not sure that the point or methodology of a flipped classroom came all of the way across (especially had I not told them that was our intention).
I appreciate the openness and eagerness of our classmates to learn and try new things. I feel as though the tools that we chose for our lesson supported our content and our “students” enjoyed using them. I would be willing to try a flipped classroom again given more days leading up to the lesson to prepare my students.
I learned a lot from doing this project. While I spend a lot of my professional time co-planning, I’ve never co-taught before, so that was a new and interesting experience. I know that I gained valuable experience with some fantastic tech tools that I know I will use in my classroom. I feel we shared valuable information and technology with our class. Overall, I would call this a pretty successful experiment.