In 2012 David Garza who is now our president of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, spoke about plans for our new Tec21 degree programs and that flipped learning would play a key role. At that point in his presentation, I opened my laptop and immediately research about #flipclass and started following the work of Aaron Sams and Jon Bergmann. The adventure started.
That semester (August 2012) I started my adventure creating my version of Flip 101. It went quite well. I followed an academic year of that with a move to flipped master for the 2013-2014 academic year.
In 2014 I attended my first FlipCon in Mars, PA and presented. I can’t seem to find the details of my presentation but it was likely about flipping a computer science classroom. I believe 3 people attended my presentation (thank you Jon for giving me support by being one of those) but I was hooked on this community. I met so many wonderful people including my friend and fellow board member Kate Baker who is pictured in the featured image of this blog post and Troy Cockrum who would be a key colleague over the years. Later that year, Brian Bennett asked if I could participate as an advisor to the FLN board. This group of advisors included Crystal Kirch, April Gudenrath, Jerry Overmyer and myself. I was so honoured to be included.
Five years ago on June 19, 2015 I received an email from Aaron Sams inviting me to serve as one of two new board members (the other being Justin Aglio). I was happy to accept and would join my first board meeting at FlipCon 2015 at Michigan State University. In our first board meeting before the conference, Aaron stepped down from his role as the chair of the board and would also be leaving the board. That was a bit of a shock for my first meeting but I knew that he must have put so much work into the FLN and it was his time to step down. Brian Bennett took over as the chair of the board and would be key to organizing the next year’s FlipCon 2016 in Allen, Texas.
That next year before the conference in Allen, TX would have Brian step down from the role of chair as well as the board after running an excellent conference. Jon Bergmann stepped down from the board as well. A call was out for someone to take over the role as chair. My hand went up and I became the chair of the board.
The FLN was led for years by the stars of the community, Aaron and Jon. I joined a board to lead a community that lost the stars and other key members of the board over the years including Brian, Julie Schell, Kristin Daniels and many over the history of the FLN. I would like to reach out to many of those key figures to write a history of the FLN. Sometime soon.
The FLN became a smaller operation run by mostly volunteers. We were no longer able to organize FlipCon conferences but we focused on our non-profit status and spirit to create an open and inviting community. We wanted to give the community a voice and platform to share their work in education. The website changed to a more open platform, we launched our Slack Community and continued to be active on Twitter with the #flipclass and later renamed #flipclasschat every Monday. New board members joined (thanks Katie Lanier, Kate Baker, Crystal Kirch, David Walsh, Matthew Moore), Helaine Marshall continued as a core member of the board, created the Flipped Learning Today newsletter and kept an eye on our finances before passing the newsletter on to Andrew Swan and the finance role to David Walsh. I must give a special thank you to Helaine for all of your support these years. You are a key member of the FLN community.
Andrew and April Gunderath agreed to join the board and then left after making key contributions to the community. They still do contribute and that brings home my point that the FLN is about a community of educators and is not a board of directors. You all can contribute to this community.
David Walsh organized the first FlipTech conference in 2018 which was followed up by another FlipTech conference in 2019 run by Andrew and our first international conference in Bogotá, Colombia organized by Carolina Rodríguez Buitrago.
Kelly Walsh served in a paid role as our community manager for four years and agreed to join as a board member when we decided that we no longer had the funds to continue to fund a paid role.
So much good work has been done by many volunteers over these past four years. I thank you all.
I had been planning this exit from my role as chair for a year. I needed to be sure that I was not abandoning the FLN but leaving it in good hands. Matthew Moore has been an active blogger on our site, a leader in the community and pulled together an excellent online version of FlipTech for this summer 2020 version.
Matthew has agreed to take the lead of the FLN as your new chair of the board and I couldn’t be happier. The FLN is in good hands and I am happy to have been a part of this community and will not be leaving. Matthew accepted but requested that I remain as a board member.
So I am not going away, I may even be more visible posting here on the FLN site and contributing in other ways.
Thank you all. It was a privilege and honour to serve you.