Going for the Flip…C&I 579 Blog #1A

The Flipped Class as a Transition to Deep 21st Century Learning

Posted by jbergmann on May 10, 2012 in Flipped Class


The Progression:

1.     Teacher Flips a lesson or a unit and find it to be successful

2.     Teacher decides to flip the whole class

a.     (At least at the upper grades.  At the lower grades I don’t see teachers flipping a class, but rather, flipping selected lessons).

b.     Often this step takes an entire year as the teacher needs to focus in on making the videos—assuming they make all of their own videos.

3.     Teacher realizes they have more time and begin to explore engaging activities.  This is where the magic of the flipped class happens.  When the teacher moves away from the stand and deliver approach and realize there is more to learning than disseminating content.

Phil’s Response:

So I’m at step 1 (or trying for step 2 for next year). Like all of the blogs and Twitter feeds I’m getting, I’m feeling overwhelmed, but I’m sure I am ready to take the first steps on the journey.

How sure, I dropped one of my graduate classes this summer to have the time to start recording videos for my students. Tomorrow I’m off to see about getting my software and microphone ASAP, I’ve got work to do so my students can learn, and not who, what, when, and where, but WHY? Why are these facts important…today? How are they relevant in my students’ lives? How can I get them to figure it out on their own?

Wish me luck, persistence and faith in this endeavor to make learning better and more meaningful for those that count, my students.

That was my response to Josh, but it felt incomplete to me…my finished thought:

I’ve used my Universal Reading Questions for several years now and it is time to take them to a new level. Students always had trouble with the last one, “Can you think of a similar situation from the past or the present?” I plan to add: OR What is the relevance of something from the reading to today’s world, to your life, or the lives of your friends or family?’ I hope this will get them thinking and get them to make the experience more meaningful. With a flip (and 1:1 next year) I can have students research the background and make the connections themselves, instead of me showing them to them. Next year, I hope to be the one guiding them.

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Rules…Who Makes the Teachers Enforce Them? C&I 579 Blog #1

From Josh Stumpenhorst, “Stump the Teacher”
“Rules…are for the Teachers” Posted Friday, May 4, 2012
Link to original post: http://stumpteacher.blogspot.com/2012/05/rulesare-for-teachers.html

The gum chewing conversation came about because many teachers were not enforcing the rule and some sit in front of their class chewing it themselves. Yes, I realize gum chewing is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. However, if it is a school rule it must be enforced universally or it causes confusion among students and pits teachers against each other. I am labeled a “mean teacher” if I follow the rule we have in our handbook when others are not. So, this rule discussion was really not about kids chewing gum, but more about teacher’s enforcing a rule or not…
On a total sidebar, I laugh at the number of teachers who are constantly on their cell phones during school hours texting, emailing, updating status and playing games right in front of the students. What message does that send the kids when the staff won’t even follow the rules set for the students?…
Many of the other rules we discussed in the open forum had similar themes. More than once I heard, “it is too hard to enforce that rule.” I heard very few people mention what was in the best interest of the student’s and their learning environment. It may just be me, but I saw evidence that many of my school’s rules were a product of not keeping kids safe or protecting the learning environment. What I did see was rules being created because teachers were afraid to step up and enforce existing rules, or to step up and recognize learning opportunities and not punishment opportunities.
I wonder how many schools have rules established for the sake of the adults rather than for the sake of the kids.
Phil’s Response (7 June 2012): Josh,
I know exactly how you feel and precisely what it is like to be the “bad guy” because I enforce the rules. Yes, we have rules that I deem to be silly, but those are the rules that the administration or the teachers said were important, but they become a problem when some staff either ignore the rule or worse, blatantly do the opposite. Like you I often feel that the problem with most rules is not the students, but with the teachers.
On a side note, it is even worse if the administration will not do anything about the teachers who do not follow the rules. (Note to administrators, please tell the people who ARE breaking the rules, do not send an email to everyone.)
As for cell phones, we need to learn to make technology and communication inside of school more closely resemble those outside of school.
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Amusing Ourselves to Death?

Feeling very overwhelmed at the moment with all the new information coming my way via Twitter, blogs and RSS feeds…

But unlike Orwell’s 1984 were the government controls all the information, or  Huxley’s Brave New World in which people no longer seem to care about information, are we more like Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death where we stop paying attention because there is just too much?

I don’t want the form to become the function so perhaps I should just treat it all like a giant buffet (is that French for bad food you have to get yourself?) or smorgasbord (is that Swedish for bad food in gravy you have to get yourself?) and try what looks appetizing, knowing that I can always go back and try something new, or get more of something I like; with a new clean plate of course.

I’ll glean the results that show up, avoiding the junk and looking for the pearls and thereby “glean what afflicts me” (bastardized from Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead).

Tongue firmly in cheek.

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Transformative Technology (from Rowen & Bigum 2012)

Great quote from book “Transformative Approaches” about technology and education reform:

Parker Palmer 1998, p 3: “reform will never be achieved by renewing appropriations, restructuring schools, rewriting curriculum, and revising texts if we continue to demean and dishearten the human resource called the teacher on whom so much depends” (p. 10).

p. 10 Future Proofing, “a commitment to educational agendas which look beyond the boundaries of schools to think about how every single educational moment is working (or not working) to provide diverse kids with the attitudes, dispositions and self belief that will serve them well in a future that no-one is in any real position to describe” (p. 10).

“a disposition or commitment to re-thinking the purposes, content and processes of schooling with a view to ensuring that all children, from all backgrounds are prepared by their educations to cope, engage with and actively shape the futures that could be ahead of them” (p. 10).

Further goal should be not only preparing children, “to be good at doing school, but rather to be good at doing life” (p. 10).

“the impact that past ways of doing things have upon what is done and also what can be imagined is significant” (p. 30).

“An example away from schools illustrates well the longevity of choices and decisions made in the past. Kevin Kelly (2010, p. 179–180) recounts the story of the influence of Roman carts on roads and rail through time. Since the carts followed in the ruts of the war chariots the carts were built to the same specifications. The chariots were built to allow two warhorses to pull them side-by-side. In time, as the English began to use carriages, they too were built to fit the existing ruts which had become roads of similar width. When railways were built, the horseless carriages were also built with the same width of almost 5 ft. labourers from England built the first American railway tracks and because their tools were designed to build the British tracks the end result was that rail tracks in the US also ended up being a little under 5 ft. More recently, the rockets which launch the space shuttle were brought via rail to Florida. They had to pass through a tunnel not much wider than the 5 ft wide track, so their diameter could not be much greater than that same measure. Kelly quotes the conclusion of one wag who commented that: “So, a major design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over 2,000 years ago by the width of two horses’ arse” (pp. 30-31).

We need to stop limiting students futures by limiting their present, what they call “future proofing”.


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

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Hello world!

I am a Social Sciences teacher teaching History of Western Civilization, World Cultures, Media (video production) and dual credit Communications. Currently working on my doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction at Illinois State University with a focus on educational technology.

I began this post for C&I 579 so I guess we are off and running.

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