One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

This past week (my first with flipped learning) has been overwhelming to say the least. After working with students who were iPad-proficient at the end of last year, I have a whole new group who are new to the technology. On top of that, I am using some apps and programs that are new to me. For some strange reason, I believed that we could jump right in and start swimming, but it has been a challenge getting everyone used to what we do.

I also learned a lot of new ideas this summer, especially from the great book Flipping 2.0. These include curated web research and collaborative notes. I tried both of these this week, and it did not go as well as expected. The students learned, but not to the level of mastery.

To counter this, I relied on things that I had already done in previous years. I broke the material we covered into smaller chunks and let groups choose the areas they wanted. They had to learn that material and present it to the class. There was a very limited amount of time for them to review it, and their presentations were limited to 55 seconds. The best group (as determined by class votes) won experience points. (This is through a new game called Classcraft, which I will blog about this later.)

I also have planned an activity that I did heavily last year: allow for quiet, individual, and independent learning time where students read about subject areas through the web for a set amount of time and then debrief. (The debriefing can be done either through Padlet or in person; I will do face to face debriefing this week) This was highly effective last year, and I will do it this week to reinforce what we have covered, so students master the learning objectives.

As I do many new things this year, I must remember what I have done in the past and hold on to things that worked. Refining, not redoing, is often the path to success.


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