Flipping the Classroom with ShowMe

Just this school year, 2011-12, I have been experimenting with the idea of “Flipping the Classroom”.  The inspiration for this idea came when I was making screencasts last year, 2010-11, with the online website Jing.    These screencasts were for students who needed to know how to do some of the technological tasks I needed them to do for my class.  My school, seeing the value in this technology, also asked me to make screencasts to explain how to use our online Naviance system for parents and students in our district.

It was at that time when I came across the work Sal Khan and Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams of Woodland Park High School in Colorado were doing with screencasts to facilitate instruction and learning.  My friend Dan Sutherland, who was in my cohort at Seton Hall University’s Education, Leadership, Management and Policy Ed.S. degree program, wrote his thesis on this idea which further peaked my curiosity.  Using my iPad this past summer, I began to search for screencast apps you could use on the iPad.  I came across Show Me and began making the videos for each unit in my Japanese class.  My goal was for students to watch the videos online at home and be prepared in class to apply what they had learned from my Show Me webpage.  Doing this allows me to spend time in class working with students who still do not understand the material after watching the videos, while the students who got it can work on applying their new knowledge and/or skill with various activities, tasks, etc.  Homework is now about learning rather than just the drill and kill it seems to be for some students.

While it is early to determine the success of my trial with this technology, I somehow know “flipping the classroom” is the inevitable direction for which education is headed.  We’ll see……

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