Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Flipping 2.0 Has Arrived

You may be aware of the book that I along with 19 incredible educators from around the country have been working on for the past 8 months.  Well, Flipping 2.0: Practical Strategies for Flipping Your Class is here, and I can't wait to dive in!  (My shipment of books just arrived today, see picture to the right)

Although every chapter in this collection looks incredible, social studies teachers should take note of two in particular. These chapters authored by Karl Lindgren-Streicher and Jason Bretzmann were written specifically about flipping social studies courses.

I was humbled to be asked by Jason Bretzmann, the mastermind behind this project, to contribute a chapter to Flipping 2.0 as well.  Starting in February, I teamed up with social studies colleague Brian Germain to co-author the chapter titled "Technology for Students."  I will be writing a post in the next few weeks providing an overview of the chapter as well as more information regarding the upcoming #Flipping20 Twitter chat about our (and Troy Cockrum's) chapter. Click here to view the brief video I created introducing the chapter. 

Take a look inside Flipping 2.0 (Table of Contents, Foreword & Intro)

How To Buy A Copy of Flipping 2.0

To purchase Flipping 2.0, many of the co-authors (including myself) will be selling and distributing copies through our website and at conferences.  The book costs $29.95 + free shipping.  If you would like to order from me, you can choose one of the following options.

1. Click the  "Buy Now" PayPal button in the right sidebar or on the "Books" page of this website. 
(Paypal account is not needed as all major credit cards are accepted. This is the fastest way to order and have your books shipped).

2. Fill out the following form: Flipping 2.0 Order Form
(This is preferable for those who would like an official invoice, order multiple copies, or need the book shipped internationally.)

3. Attend one of my conference sessions! Click here for my upcoming schedule.
(You will not have to pay for shipping and I will offer a discount to attendees.)

More info about Flipping 2.0 to come!  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Looking Ahead: The Future of Our Class

Ever since I transitioned to a mastery-learning approach, I have tried to help students develop their metacognitive skills.  For example, goal setting, progress monitoring, and reflecting on an almost daily basis.

To practice what I preach, I though I would outline some general goals and direction for the year ahead. No, these are not specific or measurable, but they will at least set the tone for the upcoming year and keep me focused on a few things.

When I coached basketball, I went to a clinic where West Virginia coach Bob Huggins spoke.  He made a great point that if you have your players "focus" on everything (boxing out, help-side defense, defending screens, deflections, etc.), then their mind will be racing so much that they won't end up "focusing" on anything!  With that in mind, here are the three general concepts I will focus on this year and a few ideas regarding how that will look in practice.

1. Flipped Learning

I will continue to modify the way that I apply Flipped Learning principles to our class.  One particular change this year will be to create a series of "Inquiry Videos" to start each unit.  Although I still would not consider my class Explore-Flip-Apply or PBL, I would like to incorporate more inquiry-based activities in each unit, particularly at the beginning.

2.  Gamification

You may recall in previous posts that I am "gamifying" my class this year.  After hearing Lee Sheldon speak at #GIE13, I purchased his book "The Multiplayer Classroom." What a great decision.  I quickly realized that the way that I had set up my flipped-mastery course was already similar to how a "gamified" class was.  I will certainly be reflecting upon this quite a bit on this blog since gamification is the most substantial change to my course this year.

3. 20 Time

Although 20 Time was mostly successful last year, I need to improve how I structure it and provide feedback and guidance to students.  I know of several great educators who are well-versed in 20 Time, so I will be picking their brains in the coming weeks/months to help improve this aspect of the course.

I'm looking forward to a great school year with my students, and of course collaborating with my awesome and ever-expanding PLN!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

eSeminar Archive & Resources

First, I would like to thank everyone who joined the live Flipped Social Studies eSeminar and course!  I screencasted the entire event and posted the archive video within the course.

Therefore, if you missed the live eSeminar, or if you attended but would like to review some of the material (I know I went a bit too fast), check out the video.

If you would like to join the course to access the archive and resources, click here.

If you have already joined, click here to log in (button on top right of the screen).

Some of the resources included in the free course include:
  • eSeminar Archive Video
  • eSeminar Presentation Document w/ Video and Live Links
  • Resources to Help Develop Flipped Learning Experiences
  • Creating Instructional Video Guides
  • Educator Spotlight (Featuring Karl, David, Jason, and Frank!)
  • Flipped Social Studies Community Contacts (Connect & Grow Your PLN!)
  • Flipped Videos, Blogs, & More
If you have any questions about access, please contact me on Twitter or email (thdriscoll@gmail.com).

Thanks and good luck to everyone as we embark upon another great year of teaching!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Games in Education Symposium Recap

First, I am so glad that I found out about this event last Spring.  The GIE team reached out to me since they were looking for someone to present and conduct a workshop about Flipped Learning.  After looking into it a bit, I realized what an incredible event this was for anyone involved in education (teachers, tech coordinators, administrators, educational game developers, etc.)   During the two-day conference in Malta, NY, I attended incredible sessions that left me thinking about games/gamification in an entirely new light.  I will highlight two that I found particularly thought provoking.

Influential Sessions

The conference started off with a great keynote by Lucas Gillespe, an instructional technology coordinator from NC.  His presentation, among other things, gave us a glimpse of what is to come regarding gaming, such as the utilization of virtual and augmented reality experiences.  He also made the case that games should not just be a reward for doing academic work (ex. do math, then kill some zombies)  Instead, students should engage in games that provide a meaningful context in which learning occurs throughout.   This presentation also introduced me to ARIS, an augmented reality teaching tool that I think has tremendous potential.

The other session that I found riveting was by RPI professor Lee Sheldon called "Beyond the Multiplayer Classroom: Story." I actually did not realize how influential his work (and book) was regarding gamification until after the conference.  He started by introducing me to the concepts of leveling, xp (experience points), and guilds.  I though it was interesting that he begins the first day of class by saying "Good morning, you all have an F.  But you can level up!"  He also made the great point that all gaming does not have to be digital, as many of his simulations are acted out in class.

The main message of this session, however, was the need to develop a good story in order for students to fully engage in the game.  For example, he referenced an RPI class that teaches Mandarin through a simulated game in which students are stuck in a Chinese airport and need to find their way out.  The class includes simulated "interrogations" by actual Mandarin speakers to add authenticity.  Sheldon suggested that you try to sustain your narrative from lesson to lesson, or even throughout an entire course if possible.

Flipped Learning Presentation & Workshop

On day 2 of the conference, I led a 45 minute morning session introducing attendees to Flipped Learning.  Those who attended seemed genuinely interested and enthusiastic about the concept, while also posing some excellent questions in the brief Q & A session.  Here is a Link to the Session Video (also embedded below) and Google Presentation.

In the afternoon, many of those from the morning session joined me for a 3-hour workshop on developing flipped learning experiences. For this workshop, I developed a guide for creating instructional videos that they thought was very helpful.  I again used the EDUonGO LMS as the platform for resources and discussion related to the workshop.  (If you would like access to this, just shoot me a quick request via email or Twitter). I had a great time discussing all kinds of topics with those who attended, and learned quite a bit in the process!

The Takeaway

My big "takeaway" from this is my commitment to add a layer of gamification to my flipped-mastery classes.  I plan to add leveling, grading through attrition (xp), and guilds to the course.  In the future, I would like to add a story/theme/narrative to the entire course to make the gameplay more engaging.

I guess this is my 3rd Iteration (language courtesy of Jon Bergmann) of the flipped classroom.

1) Flipped 101
2) Flipped-Mastery
3) Flipped-Mastery + Gamification

I want to thank the Games in Education organizers for putting on an excellent event which was generously provided free to educators.  I am already looking forward to next year's conference!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Creating Instructional Videos

As the new school year approaches, many educators new to Flipped Learning will begin experimenting with screencasting and other forms of video production.  As part of a recent workshop, I put together this guide to creating instructional videos.  Although much of it is curated from the vast #flipclass resources out there, I added commentary based upon my experiences both creating instructional videos as well as the knowledge I have gained over the past year teaching "Video Production."

Click Here to View My Guide to"Creating Instructional Videos"

I hope this helps, and feel free to share this document however you wish.