Saturday, December 20, 2014

How Will I Make 2015 The Best Year For My Students?

Looking ahead, here are two changes that I believe will make a positive and lasting impact on students’ learning in 2015.  

A More Thoughtful And Strategic “Flip”

After 4 years of “flipping,” the majority of my 70+ videos were created to deliver content.  Although there is certainly value in this, particularly since it helped make mastery learning possible, I must think beyond this approach to flipping.  

Moving forward, I plan on conducting a more “formative” flip.  Instead of anticipating which new content and skill videos should be front-loaded, I will first gauge students’ comprehension and skills as they progress through each unit.  Instructional videos will then be created if and when students need them.  

For example, if students are having difficulty taking and defending a position, I will create a video providing strategies and walking through exemplars.  If students have trouble grasping the root causes of the Cold War, I will create a “special topics” video explaining this issue in greater depth.  

Transforming Passions Into Actions

This is our third year of 20 Time projects and my focus this semester is to help transform students’ passions into actions.  I will push students to not only develop a project that they are intrinsically interested in, but also one that makes a positive impact on a wider community of people. This is out of most students’ (and adults’) comfort zone, but they will get so much more out of this experience if they channel their passions to help others.  Not only will they harness their creativity to innovate, but also build confidence and self-worth knowing they they made a positive impact.
There you have it, two brief thoughts on improving in the new year.  If you have any thoughts or comments on these, or if you would like to share your ideas for a better 2015, please post them in the comments section below!