Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Quasi Flipped Class

Like Frank Franz, I’ve done a lot of research on flipping the classroom. I’m trying it for the first time this week in my AP World class with a short lecture on the causes of World War I. I linked the screen cast on Blackboard. The idea is that this will give me more time in class to do more hands on learning or delve more deeply into the lecture topic. For example, I might ask the kids to rank the causes and defend their ranking.

But I wonder if history classrooms are already flipped if we don’t do much lecturing in the first place. The reading gives the kids the same content as a podcast lecture. Here’s how someone on a flipped blog explained it: “But in history, if you are assigning reading for homework then they are already doing the content at home. And if you are doing discussions or other work in class that makes them grapple with what they have read then your history class is already 'flipped'.” I agree but I also think that few kids in history really read the text and process what they read so discussion in class or activities designed to get the kids to grapple with the content often don’t work so well. I’m hoping that short screen casts might help. Indeed, I just got an email from a student who said the video was "super" helpful, so maybe this is a great way to go.


Chris said...

I'm also intrigued by the idea of "flipped classrooms," but I'm not too excited about making a long video for each evening! I would imagine that each video would take a couple hours to plan, make, and post. Then there's the issue I have about some students still not having internet access at home. Plus I like the idea of students still reading the textbook. One solution might be guided notes. You could write a one-page summary of each section of a chapter, and substitute keywords from each sentence for students to identify. I'm looking forward to hearing how this week-long experiment goes!

George Coe said...

The screen casts are not really very long, never longer than 15 minutes and not meant to substitute for the reading. I use them to highlight important concepts. A ten minute lecture takes about an hour to prepare but I hope that time will shorten as I get used to making them.