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.  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Flipped History Hangout 7-12-12

On Thursday, six of us met on a Google+ Hangout to discuss issues related to flipping the social studies class. Here are some of the topics we discussed:

  • Framing the flipped history class in terms of learning theory / pedagogy.
  • Planning to flip next year - mastery? ‘Flipping 101’? Other?
  • Classroom structures / norms that ensure success in a flipped history class.
  • Explore-Flip-Apply in History.

It was streamed live and archived here (video below). Other than a few technical glitches (including a sound out of nowhere that prematurely ended our discussion), it was a great first hangout for `history flippers! 

Please comment below with any initial thoughts/reactions/questions that you may have related to this discussion, we would love to have your input and keep the conversation going.

We will try to get the word out ahead of time for the next discussion so that those who would like to view/comment live can do so. The next chat is tentatively scheduled for the 2nd or 3rd week in August.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Social Studies Flipped Class Community

First, thank you to everyone who has contributed to the SS Flipclass Community form!  At the time of writing this, we have about 40 educators who have entered contact & website info in the last week alone.  Here is the link:

Social Studies Flipped Class Community

A couple of quick things:

1.  If you are a social studies teacher who is (or at least considering) flipping and have yet to enter your info, please consider doing so.  If you are unsure of how to edit the form, please let me know. 

2.  Contact and connect with the other social studies teachers!  One of the first steps I took was following those who entered info on Twitter.  This is a quick and simple way to build your PLN.    The email addresses are also helpful for those of us who want to discuss things in further depth than 140 characters may allow.   For instance, I have had the opportunity to discuss the Explore-Flip-Apply model with Karl Lindgren-Streicher this past week.  (Great blog posting about the proposed model here.)

3.  Look under the school column to see if any other social studies teachers are flipping in your geographic area.  It would be great to observe other teachers or collaborate in-person if possible.

4. I have added a final column since originally posting the spreadsheet for us to provide links to our screencast videos.  I know that many of us have not had time to develop a library, but for those who have them posted, please share!  Also, do not worry if they are not perfect, no ones are.  It would be helpful for all of us to see the various ways that teachers are using the screencast technology.

5.  If you have a blog, consider creating a "blog roll" of the social studies blogs entered in the spreadsheet.  This would be an easy way to see the reflections of others who are implementing the flipped class approach in ss. 

6. If there is more information that would be helpful that is not currently in the spreadsheet, please let me know.  You could also just add a column since everyone had editing access.

7.  Lastly, spread the word!  Tweet, email, post, etc.  The more people enter the info, the greater chances of engaging in meaningful collaboration. 

I look forward to working with those of you in the flipped social studies community.