Control is a curious word. Many of my colleagues at the Tecnológico de Monterrey know me as “that flipping teacher” which comes from my embracing #flipclass four years ago and evangelizing that approach to colleagues on campus, across the system as well as nationally and internationally.
Yes, #flipclass has been good to me but it tends to pigeonhole me with that label. I do so much more in my classroom (connected classrooms, #oer, giving my students voice, active learning) which I consider going beyond flipped class. I really should blog more about my classroom. Hmm.
Guide on the side and not the sage on the stage.
— Bergmann and Sams
Another inspiration on my pedagogy is Keith Hughes (@hiphughes on Twitter), go search out his #TeacherTips which should become coffee table books for teacher’s lounges. One key concept I take from Keith is the term “Facilitator of Learning Experiences”. I love that expression and use it often to explain my role in the classroom.
I would prefer you go watch and listen to Keith explain this:
Every week at 5pm Pacific and 8pm Eastern (US time zones), we get together for a chat on Twitter using the #flipclass hashtag, please feel free to join us or just watch (get your toes wet) and go through your own crawl/walk/run stages at your own pace (shoutout to @NancyWhite for the crawl/walk/run).
I am a big believer in the Flipped Classroom and the focus on “the best use of classroom time” as Jon Bergmann (and many others) describes it.
For my classes and in particular my style of working with my students I find that the time outside of the classroom is equally important. The issue becomes how to keep connected with each other outside.
I’ve used many tools for this over the past 20 years or so:
I want the ability for my students to express their ideas and calls for help to the entire class (and course since I usually teach multiple groups) as well as the world at large.
We use a hashtag (#TC1014 and #TC1017 for the courses this semester) to communicate about the class. Students often send me direct messages (DMs) as well but I am trying to encourage them to be more open.
Is it Working?
I tried this in previous semesters and it did not “stick”. I think the reason is that I offered other options like the course LMS and a Facebook group for each course. Now this is the main option and (some) students are using it.
Here is one example, note the communication using images (screenshots) as well as the time stamps here. I can’t be sure but some other students might have learned from this conversation and I used this example of communication in class time to stress the importance of:
Asking for help is okay.
Asking in public increases the chances that others will answer.
Showing details (screenshots or links to code) is important.
Yes, there are many people tweeting about what they ate for breakfast/lunch/dinner or their location on any particular time of day. Twitter is a social media platform and we can use it for whatever we choose.
One of the themes I have been talking about a lot over the last month or so is that education is a social activity. We cannot just throw a teacher and a bunch of students on an LMS and expect education to just happen.