Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer 2012

***This post was generously contributed by guest blogger David Fouch.***

This summer I spent time finishing up graduate classes, relaxing, chasing around a 15 month old (Cooper), and learning a lot about flipping. I was extremely disappointed that I was not able to attend the FlipCon this past June.  It would  have been 3 days of networking and creating relationships with fellow flipclass teachers around the country.  Luckily, my Twitter friend @deliabush came to rescue and let me know about Muskegon ISD bringing in Jon Bergmann for a 2 day flipclass conference.  

The conference was an awesome experience to gain further knowledge from Jon Bergmann and other flipclass teachers from West Michigan.  If anybody ever gets a chance to go and listen to Jon speak you need to take full advantage.  These 2 days left me feeling overwhelmed with the amount information I received. 

Day 1 - Was a lot of review of philosophy and technology.  The philosophy part was not new to me as I have been researching the flipclass method for over a year.  Where I began to feel overwhelmed was he discussion about technology for the flipclass.  I never realized how many different programs you can use to build and create videos for class.  We were introduced to SnagIt, Screencast-0-Matic, Camtaisa Relay, Camtaisa Studio, Sophia, Moodle, Display Recorder, and Notability were all brought to my attention.  All the products are phenomenal and easy to use.  

I understand I am not able to use all these products so I made a decision and I am going to use the following resources this school year: Camtasia Studio and Moodle.  These products will give my students the best chance for success in US History and AP US History. I would also recommend everybody to use Camtasia Studio as your source for video creation.  I spent most of the morning using Camtasia Studio 8 and I was able to create videos with half the time compared to version 7 of Camtasia.   

Day 2 - Let the overwhelmed feeling begin.  I have never been to a conference where I walked away with so many resources and ideas.  The morning was spent watching some videos and discussing the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I realized that my videos that I created last year were boring.  I just want to formally apologize to all my students last year in APUSH.  I know I can do better.  I will be making major changes to my videos for this year. I am going to buy a high quality microphone and I am going to create more videos with my colleague Judy.  

The end of last school year I made a decision that I was going to introduce Moodle in my classes in the fall.  The only thing I new about Moodle was it was going to allow students to take online assessments and allow me to go a little more paperless in the classroom.  After seeing Jon give a brief presentation on his Moodle account and how it helped in the flipclass, I am sold on it.  Don't get me wrong it is going to take me a while to get my account set up and working but it will be worth it in the long run.   

In the afternoon I sat at a round table discussion with Jon, Doug Ragan (@dragan39), and Andrew Steinman (@steinman) and we discussed a variety of topics that deal with flipclass.  I was able to ask questions and listen to stories from Jon about issues he dealt with in hist first few years of flipping.  During this time I was able to see their Moodle pages and they helped me build my Moodle page.  Both Doug and Andrew are experts with Moodle and owe them a huge Thank You.  

This was the best conference I have ever attended and looking forward to implement a lot of the things I learned in my classroom this year.  It was great to meet so many people face to face instead of talking to them through Twitter.