Tag Archives: Flipped Classroom

Year in Review / 2013

Year in Review / 2013

Welcome to a final few thoughts on and about 2013: what did I do, what did I read, what did I achieve, what did I miss, what did I not do … you get the picture. Well …

  • After thinking, planning, and talking about it for nearly two years I finally got round to planning, writing, and publishing my eBook on QR Codes in Education. (May 2013).
  • Several years in the making I finally completed my CMALT portfolio and submitted it and gained my CMALT accreditation (November 2013).
  • In October I re-read my QR Codes in Education eBook and realised it would read better with a different structure to the contents and I took the opportunity to make it available as a printed book too (November 2013). Working with the CreateSpace website I restructured the materials, redesigned the cover and worked on the 2nd edition of the book (also updating the eBook too to match).
  • Worked closely with colleagues in Leicester on aspects of mobile learning, online marking and feedback, support, course reconfiguration, and roles & responsibilities.
  • Presented a brown bag lunch seminar on “Improving the Student Experience Through Blackboard in the College of Social Science”
  • I am proud to have helped launch the East Midlands Learning Technology SIG including Twitter, blog, LinkedIn group, Google+ group, etc.

Most popular posts (by month):  Continue reading

Flipped Classroom Field Guide, Derek Bruff

Field Guide for the Flipped Classroom

With the new academic year upon us I regularly hear and read about the flipped classroom, and how people are going to use it. I was disheartened to read from Alan Cann (@AJCann) in his “Condensed Milk And The Flipped Classroom” post that his lengthy preparation for a flipped approach was not going to taken forward and implemented. While Alan is already planning an alternative approach, no doubt using techniques and technology he’s already invested a great deal of time in, the  post he referenced on The Atlantic website (“The Condensed Classroom”) had this great image.

For first-timers who want to understand the flipped classroom approach, this is an ideal introduction:  Continue reading

Facebook Guide for Educators: A tool for teaching and learning

Facebook Guide for Educators

Facebook Guide for Educators: A tool for teaching and learningThis guide, written in collaboration with many organisations including Apps For Good and the Gates Foundation, is “aimed at educators working with young people within schools, colleges, universities, work based learning, formal and informal learning settings.”

“The guide aims to be practical and hands on, but is not exhaustive. Innovative uses of Facebook are being developed all of the time and as such we have created a Facebook for Educators Page run by educators for educators, to share their experiences and recommendations across the UK and beyond.”

By looking at how Facebook is already being used it reports on how it could be used to

  • support subject teaching across the curriculum,
  • support out of school hours learning,
  • encourage informal social learning,
  • enable easy communication between students, teachers and parents, and to
  • support the development of digital citizenship skills  Continue reading


Using video: from passive viewing to active learning

videoEmily Moore has written this great introduction in the Faculty Focus: online magazine: “From Passive Viewing to Active Learning: Simple Techniques for Applying Active Learning Strategies to Online Course Videos”. Please read the original as it covers more in depth use of video, but my highlights of the piece are below.

Video as a guided lesson (flipping the classroom?): “The goal here is to help ensure that students watch videos actively—in other words, giving it their full attention. You also want to help draw students’ attention to (and reinforce) the most important concepts being presented.”

  • Pose a question at the beginning of each video to give students an idea before they watch of what to expect, what to look for, and what might be worth thinking about.
  • Present videos in an outline-like structure using concise, descriptively labeled links that include running times as shown below.
  • Embed short graded or self-assessments either in the video itself, or at the end of each video.

Video as springboard for in-depth discussion: Continue reading

The Classroom of Tomorrow #edtech

I just saw this video and wanted to share it … but also to criticise it, sorry.

YouTube: The Classroom of Tomorrow

On the face of it it’s a good and well presented demonstration about how mobile or modern technology can be used in classrooms .. but this is what disappointed me:

  • The student at the start is using his device in the classroom. While this is obviously the point of the video I would have thought that the classroom of tomorrow has no walls, no boundaries – so this student could have been anywhere (school, library, friends house, cafe, home, gym, bus-stop, beach, car, etc.).
  • The students in the gym are doing nothing and looking bored while their instructor works something out on his phone. A good instructor would have had them warming up or doing something before getting the device out, and not let them sit around?
  • Continue reading

Venn Diagram on Learning Attitudes

Learning Attitudes #eLearning

Credit to Joachim Stroh on Google+ for this graphic, in honour of the post by Euan Semple called “Dumbing down and victimhood“:

Venn Diagram on Learning Attitudes

Euan’s original post states:

“I have to confess I get frustrated when people complain about technology dumbing us down. The fear is often expressed that short attention spans will be forced on us by Twitter’s 140 character updates or that we will all succumb to mob mentality as memes sweep through Facebook.”

and Joachim replies in his G+ post:

“I think because of the tremendous changes we see in education and at work, the sets (attitudes) are beginning to overlap more and more. In Euan’s words: ‘Most of us will be all right’.”

Thank you both – the image above is a great encapsulation of learning as it stands now for many, the mix between ‘have-to’, ‘need-to’, and ‘want-to’, nicely grouped into School, Work, and Life. Thankfully there is little in my learning that is ‘have-to’, a little of ‘need-to’ and plenty of ‘want-to’ – perhaps this is why I like what I do and have a passion be better at it?

Introduction to Technology Integration #edtech

YouTube: An Introduction to Technology Integration

Watch this, it’s great:

“What I think is really exciting about what we’re seeing now is that technology is being used to fundamentally transform what the classroom is, fundamentally transform what you can do with the classroom.”

“I think to define technology integration it’s really using whatever resources you have to the best of your abilities. Technology is a tool, it’s what you do with that tool, what you can make, what you allow the students to make, that’s really what technology is about. If you can do this lesson without technology, that’s great. But if you can do it better with technology then that’s why you use it, that’s why you use tools.”

“I am truly seeing a world where the person who’s in the role of teacher is really the facilitator, and if you can facilitate your students to create great work and work alongside them to do that, that’s amazing to me.”

“It’s not about the mode of creation, it’s not about the tool. It’s about the learning, it’s about the process, it’s about the look on my student’s faces, the fact that they can stay focused, motivated, engaged, and they’re sharing ideas really makes learning joyful.”

David Hopkins

Social Media and the Classroom

From Professor Kahlil Marrar and Assistant Professor Eric Landahl at DePaul University, this video is a great introduction, from the academic point of view, on why social media can or should be used in the classroom, but also how:

“I think that our role is to sort of guide students towards seeing social networking sites as not simply this implement they can use in order to discuss ideas that do not relate to their education. Rather it could be tools they can use for their education: to advance their education, to collaborate on projects, to talk about homework assignments, to perhaps engage in peer review of one anothers works.”

“The nice thing about social networking is it allows you a sort of  an early warning about problems, and it also allows you a continuous process that shows what students are learning. ”

“What we suffer from today is the explosion of social networking, the explosion of communication, and the danger with those kinds of  explosions is that we don’t know where to turn to, they have no rhyme or reason, there’s no one way to utilise them. In which case it’s up to each professor to basically understand the role in the social networking world, but also understand exactly how you want to use social networking. And this clearly begins with defining an outcome.”

YouTube: Social Media and the Classroom

Fold along the dotted-line #edtech

How much emphasis or importance do you place on the set of instructions you provide when supporting colleagues, students, stakeholders, etc? Do you put thought and effort into creating them so they’re accessible and easy to understand at all levels of ability, produce them quickly with enough detail for most people to figure it out, or keep churning out the same old resources from years ago?

I don’t think anyone would own up to the latter (it doesn’t seem very helpful does it) and I would hope that we can strive to achieve the former.

In order to fully appreciate what is needed when developing support materials, I put myself in the shoes of a fresh student who knows nothing about the environment they’re about to be expected to use: turned to something I know absolutely nothing about – origami! How hard can it be, right?I deliberately searched for a website that had simple and advanced instructions so I could try one method (hard) while having the back-up of the other (easy). So I tried to make a paper crane (bird).

Fold along the dotted-line
Paper ‘fold-here’ instructions

Fold along the dotted-line
Video instructions showing intricacies of folding action

Not all websites with patterns for origami had both types of instructions, therefore allowing (or not) the ‘student’ to choose their own way to learn how to make the crane. If you’re interested, here’s one I made earlier … ! Not bad for a first attempt?


What I learned from this, for this very visual activity, is that I needed both types of fold-instructions to fully understand the techniques and the fact that I needed to turn the paper over and do some more on the other side. I started with the paper-based set as I was too impatient to wait for the video to get started, then turned to the video when the paper version didn’t have enough detail or didn’t explain itself properly.

Student inductions are always a time when we need more time and more opportunity to show the students the tools they have at their disposal, and how to use them properly. If we’re lucky we get a 60 minute slot in their busy first week: usually nestled between the first talk from their School’s Dean or programme team and a lunch … and in some instances actually in place of a break for lunch!

Using a PowerPoint presentation to highlight the different elements of a student (IT/VLE/Library) induction is only going to go so far before the students switch off … and you know that in 11 weeks you’ll get the “how do I submit an assignment?” or “how do I download the eBook?” questions several hundred times over. Why not do something during this 60 minute session to give the students a hands-on approach to a task, and therefore a learn-by-doing approach which they are more likely to remember?

Can inductions be ‘flipped’ so students have activities and reading before they arrive to maximise the time you have with them? Will students engage with a set of instructions pre-induction (probably sent with the welcome letter) for logging in and/or registering with services (VLE, email, Library, etc)? Will it be enough so that you don’t spend a lot of the face-to-face time with the students going over the materials they should have done on their own? The problem with flipping the induction is that students are likely to be using systems they are unfamiliar with: remember to take student profile into account as well – mature or part-time students may want more hand-holding and detailed guidance than others, and pre-induction activities may backfire if they go wrong.

What do you do, and how do you do it? How do you manage to get everything you and the students need into a short time slot? Is it possible to develop a repeatable and reusable set of resources and activities for student IT/VLE induction that are not just ‘watch-this’ videos?

Flipped Classroom

The Flipped Classroom Infographic

So, after all these weeks and months seeing people talk about the ‘flipped’ classroom I can finally say I am beginning to understand a little about it … thanks mainly to this infographic.

Thanks for Sue Beckingham (@suebecks) for showing me infographic.

Click to view: What is a flipped classroom — and why now?

Do you have experience(s) of the flipped classroom, on either side of it (student or teacher) you’d like to share with us?

Update: have a look at this post for further examples of the Flipped Classroom(s) in action: 15 schools using flipped classrooms