Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Discussion 4 C&I 579

I thought I would share this discussion post based upon Jackie Gerstein's blog post: http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/the-flipped-classroom-model-a-full-picture/.

Summary of Basic Points

Jackie Gerstein includes several ideas about the ideas of the flipped classroom including a model for the process, resources for those who might want to try and perhaps most important to me, critiques of some who are trying to “hijack” the idea.

The model she includes of 1) experiences, 2) what, 3) so what, and 4) now what is similar to the ideas of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that includes what, how, and why. She also notes in her slideshow similarities to other models like: the Experiential Learning Cycle, Experiential Learning, 4MAT, and models by Robert Gagne and David Kolb. In her practice she correctly points out that the initial “experiences” help engage students and provide a setting, the “what” becomes the flipped lecture, “so what” would be the old homework (now done in class) but using scaffolding to build to higher levels of understanding. Finally the “now what” is where students demonstrate their understanding.

Compare/Contrast Resources

The UDL resources mirror the ideas that Jackie has outlined in her post, all of which are models to try and move away from the Industrial Revolution model of one-way education to meet and address the needs and learning styles of 21st Century learners. I have see other complaints about Kahn Academy, and while this might be a part of the new education process, it is important to note that it is only a part. Rowan and Bigum (2012) note that technology can help change how education is done IF we allow it to change how we teach rather than “domesticating” it to how we already do things. She brings up and provides links to those who are “attacking” Kahn, but as Gerstein, Utrecht, Bergman, Rowan & Bigum and many others point out, the issue is more one of how Kahn is being presented, for that matter flipped classrooms as well. Both represent tools to use, not universal answers.

What new information, application, and/or issues did you discover?

I already had problems with much of “fervor” over Kahn academy, partially because there is little history, but mostly because of the procedural methods of his videos. (And don’t get me started on the support of the Gates Foundation). My wife is a mathematics professor and believes in cognitively guided instruction where students tackle new problems based on prior knowledge and present their answers. THEN the teacher presents alternatives and provides explanation. This way students gain an understanding of the concepts, not just memorize a procedure. Sadly many students that are “good at math are often good at memorizing procedures, conversely, those who are “bad at math” are really in need of understanding because they don’t memorize procedures well. This same idea is true in my area of social students; far too often it is “learn the facts” without making the connections. What I was happy to see is the number of people saying, wait; Kahn Academy is a tool to AID the teacher, not something that can REPLACE the teacher.

How could you use the flipped classroom approach in your teaching?

This is an idea I have been thinking about since last summer and with our school going to a 1:1 laptop program for all students I plan to implement the flipped model in my classes for next year. I had already gotten away from much lecturing and the presentations I already have can easily be adapted to this model. In my social studies classes I have students read new materials and when they read they have to answer my three Universal Reading Questions (URQs) and those become the basis for most of the discussions in class. (See my URQs post) With the laptops and new individual desks/tables I plan to have students research additional materials for the things they find interesting, and the questions they generate. That way instead of me sharing (telling) facts they can explore and become creators of knowledge and I can help guide them to connections and implication for their world today.


CAST (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author. Retrieved July 3, 2012 from: http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/

Bergman, J. (2012). Flipped learning, Turning learning on its head. Flipped Learning. Retrieved July 3, 2012 from http://flipped-learning.com/?p=868

Rowan, L., & Bigum, C. (Eds.), (2012). Transformative approaches to new technology and student diversity in futures oriented classrooms: Future proofing education. Dordrecht, Germany: Springer.

Utecht, J. (2012). Can there really be a revolution in education? The thinking stick. Retrieved July 2, 2012 from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/can-there-really-be-a-revolution-in-education/

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