I’ve written before about my work with various tools, the focus lately is on student blogging and using a FeedWordPress setup to create a connected course where my students (and anyone else) can view the syndicated posts of the students in a single place.
I was away for four days of classes last week but I left work for my #TC101 #TC1019 and #TC2027 classes. They shouldn’t miss my presence in front of the room since I’m not the focus of the class. Some of those students embrace that fact but some are still reaching to grok what I mean by this student-centred and flipped (in the sense of flipping roles) classroom.
I know, it is difficult, it is messy, but as my good friend (now I actually met her in person) Laura Gogia says it right on the title of her blog “Messy Thinking“. I was able to rename this blog to “Connecting is Learning” through her influence and that of many other amazing educators at (and not at but present through the wonders of Virtually Connecting) #OpenEd16 in Richmond, Virginia, USA.
So perhaps I keep coming back to this same theme about relationships in education and that relates to (finally) getting around to changing the title of my blog to #ConnectingIsLearning. If you don’t want to read about passion for education, move on to another blog or post.
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:
One aspect that I particularly love about my institution where I work is our ability to move quickly and make changes. We had been using the same online system for teaching evaluations for quite a long time (perhaps a decade?) and made a change in format, questions, scale and focus this past year. The instrument actually changed again in January in reaction to the previous semester I assume. I did not play a role in the design of the instrument but did give my feedback on early versions before it was released. As always, the comments are the most important section of teaching evaluations.
My classrooms are very student-centred whether I am working with my undergraduate students or my faculty colleagues. This is really a rough outline and I hope, expect and encourage you to push our workshop in the direction that works best for all of you.
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.
My goal as a facilitator of educational experiences is focused on creating a sharing culture where students not only take responsibility for their own educational pace but also contribute to the learning of their peers. The first half of this session is sharing the technology and techniques I use to foster this environment inside and outside of my classroom.
I view my main task as getting my students excited about learning computing science to increase their chances of a successful student and professional life. I still need to create formative and summative assessments to ensure they are prepared for the courses that follow. I use common tools as well as my own custom testing platform for in my courses. In the second half of this session, I will share those tools and experiences with the audience. The tools I use could be easily adapted to all levels and topics.
Please watch the videos and include in the survey (see below) form your comments or questions about my students’ experiences with a Flipped Mastery classroom.
Please fill out the survey if you plan to attend (or even if you don’t) my session at FlipCon15.
Since January 2014 I have a policy where all homework assignments (of which I have two types) are all due on the last day of classes. So this semester that will be at 5:30pm (local time in Guadalajara) on May 6th, 2015.
Are you Serious?
Yes, this works and here is Why
I’ve thought a lot about why students do not hand in homework early (well humans in general). The answer lies in following the incentives.
In most classes (including mine until about 5 years ago) there was no reason to hand in assignments early. Let us list the advantages:
You feel good about yourself
The teacher (if she notices) thinks you are amazing.
ummm. can’t think of anything else
Now, let’s list the reasons students wait until the last minute:
That physics/calculus/computing teacher that always screws up the homework problem and it turns out the problem was impossible to solve. Haha, that funny teacher #someoneShootMeForWastingHours
The teacher that always extends the deadline when they notice that nobody has done it yet (vicious cycle anyone?)
If I wait until all of my friends do it, they can help me
I get a buzz off that last minute rush
I could think of more, but this blog post is due soon……
Let’s Flip the Due Dates
See what I did there? Yeah, I’m hilarious under a #flashBlog time crunch. Instead of having students base their schedule on “What’s due tomorrow so I can start today?”, I want them to move towards “What is available that I can work on now?”
Well yeah and it works pretty well. I want to talk about this in much more detail at my FlipCon15 talk in Michigan so I’m saving all of the “good stuff” for then.
I sure hope that gets accepted. Details, details.
So, am I nuts? Are my students lining up to lynch me for yet another serious of crazy experiments from their Canadian teacher here in México? Let me know!