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for technology integration into the classroom. Though Klein firmly believes in preparing students for a global society, she continuously reinforces that technology is simply a tool to support and enhance instruction – the teacher and the students drive the learning. Those who have worked with Klein state that the most surprising aspect they walk away with is seeing how truly motivated the students become. Not only are her resources beneficial, but her enthusiastic approach is contagious as she works with fellow educators and students. Klein is the technology co-chairperson for the Michigan Reading Association, a national A Plus Workshop Presenter, SMART Technologies Exemplary Educator, Really Good Stuff Monthly Blogger, Edutopia Guest Blogger, National Writing Project member, Teaching Blog Addict Business Manager, guest contributor to Edudemic, EdCamp Detroit Organizer, and award winning EduTech Blogger at Kleinspiration.com. Activity Summary
If you’ve considered making a transition into a flipped classroom but can’t figure out where to start, it may be a good idea to take some of the best pieces of the flipped classroom model and the best of Web 2.0 and introduce them to your traditional classroom, without advertising it as a flip. By doing this, you may be able to benefit from the use of several platforms without the added pressure or commitment of flipping your classroom. Class or subject area: Language Arts Grade level(s): K - 8 Specific learning objectives: • The student will explore new forms of creative writing. • The student will cultivate the art of revision as part of the writing process. • The student will incorporate Internet technology as part of the learning process. • The student will acquire the knowledge of how and where to publish her/his creative writing.
Anniversary Book Project
A Smooth Transition into Flip
By: Erin Klein Creative Commons License: CC BY-ND Author contact: email@example.com
If you’ve considered making a transition into a flipped classroom but can’t figure out where to start, it may be a good idea to take some of the best pieces of the flipped classroom model and the best of Web 2.0 and introduce them to your traditional classroom, without advertising it as a flip. By doing this, you may be able to benefit from the use of several platforms without the added pressure or commitment of flipping your classroom. One of the big steps to making a transition such as this is accepting the fact that the term flipped classroom remains for the most part, rather undefined. There isn’t a book or a manual on how to flip. Publishers don’t ship flipped classrooms by the truckload to schools. This often can cause peers and parents to have a bit of a negative reaction to teachers that jump directly into flipping a classroom. There is often no specific reason or research behind the negativity, aside from the general assertion that many people are opposed to change. You can show them examples or videos of how a flip will work, but until the see the effects firsthand, it is difficult for many to comprehend that there is more than one way to teach. Taking it slow and trying different bits of Web 2.0 and the flipped model will allow you to have some fun experimenting with what works, demonstrate results, and achieve buy-in. One of the biggest misconceptions about the flipped model is that you have to go all or nothing. It’s a big commitment to jump into a full flip, and takes a lot of courage and determination. What is often overlooked is the fact that there is a possibility to do a partial flip, taking baby steps while adopting the portions that your students need most. There is some great technology out there today for teachers to take two steps forward into flipping their students’ learning. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to two of my favorites that have helped create some wonderful results in my experience. Educreations “We want to help teachers share their teaching online” -Wade Roberts Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve by now heard of Sal Khan and his growing collection of YouTube video lessons covering a dizzying array of subjects. Khan’s popularity has sparked a debate among educators about the effectiveness of his methods and the role of online video lessons in education. As educators debate, students appear to be voting with their eyeballs, as traffic to Khan Academy is exploding. Are tomorrow’s students destined to learn all their math lessons from the prolific Mr. Khan? Not so fast, according to the founders of Educreations. The startup wants to give students lots of choices of online teachers – including the teachers they see every day at school. “Khan has provided a powerful example of what’s possible,” says Educreations CEO Wade Roberts. “There are millions of great teachers in the world, but today you can only learn from them if you happen to be sitting in their classrooms. We want to help teachers share their teaching online so anyone can learn from them.” Quick & Simple It’s an ambitious goal. In order for Educreations to provide students access to all those great lessons,
they’ll need lots of teachers to record the lessons and post them to the Web, which has never been an easy process. Roberts claims they’ve created a quick and simple new way for teachers to record a lesson and share it online in just a few minutes – from anywhere. And it’s all made possible by a magical little device you may have heard about – the iPad. Just Released The Educreations iPad app transforms the tablet into an interactive whiteboard that records a teacher’s voice and handwriting as they explain a concept or work through an example problem. Teachers can add photos to their lessons from the iPad’s Photo Library or camera, or a Dropbox account, and they can animate the photos by tapping and dragging. Finished lessons are hosted on educreations.com, where they can be shared privately with a class of students or publicly with everyone. How It’s Different It’s not the first recordable whiteboard application that’s been developed for the iPad. Other similar apps include ShowMe and ScreenChomp. However, Educreations stands apart from the other apps in terms of features, design and ease of use. Handwriting in the Educreations app is smooth and fluid, and looks and feels just like using a real whiteboard marker. It’s the only app out of the three that allows you to move and resize photos while you’re recording to create animations. Also, unlike the other apps, Educreations lets you create multiple pages, so you don’t have to erase the screen to give yourself more room. It’s evident that team Educreations put a lot of thought into building the features a teacher will need to record a lesson on the iPad. Recommendation Engine Roberts says he and co-founder, Chris Streeter, are aiming to create something like a YouTube for learning. “The overall quality of the lessons will continually improve as more teachers contribute and the data helps us identify which lessons are the most effective. Similar to the way Netflix and Amazon recommend movies and products you will like, our goal is to be able to recommend the lessons that will be most helpful to each student, whether those lessons were created by their teacher at school or by a teacher on the other side of the world.” “We expect many teachers will develop massive followings, because they explain a complex topic in a fantastic way that just makes sense to students. We’ll know we’ve succeeded if a bunch of teachers on Educreations become internet sensations – because they’re that good, and the world can finally hear what they have to say.”
Class Connect “As a student I was your worst nightmare.” – Eric Simons The quote above is what first drew me towards working with Eric Simons, and I’m glad it did. Class Connect has helped me in many ways- from providing a great place to store and providing a great tool to network with other educators, Class Connect is a must have for any teacher looking to flip their learning model, or even just looking to make things a lot easier. Simons continues: “‘I couldn’t stay focused in school, I wasn’t interested in homework, and I wasn’t motivated by grades. This dismayed my parents and frustrated my teachers. Then, during my junior year of high school (almost two years ago), my chemistry teacher pulled me aside and asked the question that changed the focus of my life: “What would make you interested in learning what I’m teaching?” I was stumped. She didn’t ask me to try harder, she didn’t ask me to stay after for help or study more - she asked me to figure out how she could grab my interest. No one had ever bothered to ask me that before. A few moments later I replied, “Let’s get everyone working together on computers – I’ll even build the software for us to use”. And that was the start of ClassConnect. For the next two years I designed, tested, and redesigned the software, getting teacher and peer input along the way. Suddenly, I couldn’t learn enough about how teachers teach and how students learn. Education, once my nemesis, became my passion. I became obsessed with trying to figure out how to share knowledge more efficiently. I realized as students we learned better when we worked together using videos and websites – and we even enjoyed it! That was the key “eureka” moment - give students the best possible content and let them work collaboratively using web tools. I figured out the answer to my chemistry teacher’s question. It makes perfect sense -- best content, easy access. The next trick was making that process easier for teachers.” Besides the inspiring story that gets one excited to support, ClassConnect enables 21st century learning to transcend into a tangible lesson in which can be applied within the classroom framework to enhance current pedagogical practices. Stated differently, ClassConnect is a super easy way to streamline your teaching so that it becomes more interactive, naturally incorporates technology integration, and because all of your multimedia and digital content is housed in one simple spot, you never have to open new items, wait for things to load, or search for anything. Thanks to ClassConnect, you can cover more content, assess your students in real time, and actively engage all learners via the medium of your new lesson! My Personal Favorites that ClassConnect Offers - Eric Simons is amazing, talented, and driven - The entire ClassConnect team is willing to support you - I never have to worry about forgetting files on my school computer, I just login from anywhere to ClassConnect (anytime, anywhere) - It’s easy to use... click something and drag it and it moves - I never have to leave the ClassConnect site because all of my content is in one nice spot - I never have to wait for pages to load... they’re already in my lecture
(yes, actual websites! not just long url links - real and interactive websites!) - No need to be 1:1. I can use this with my projector or IWB/SMART Board Why is Filebox cool? I’m the nut that has an account for: Delicious, Diigo, Pinterest, ScoopIt, Evernote, DropBox, etc... So, why would I use Filebox? Because I can save ALL of my content (websites, videos, files, etc) and directly drag and drop them from their prospective filefolder in ClassConnect and place them in my lecture or presentation I’m developing. I never have to download or upload files... awesome! Just try it, you’ll see!
Summary In the same way that the classic game show Jeopardy flips a handful of questions per night from standard to video or audio, you can do the same thing in your classroom. Create one video lesson, or even a lesson preview if you’re not ready to do a full lesson. Flip one subject, or a portion of classroom management, there are endless possibilities. Give the students a mini-lesson and then allow then to get creative and teach the class what they’ve learned. Keep in mind that the goal of doing any of this is to foster further student engagement, facilitate learning, and create more time in which you can provide individualized instruction. It’s of the highest importance today, more than ever, that teachers begin to take the reigns in their classrooms and become the true owners and facilitators of lessons, learning, and planning. Taking advantage of the technology that is available to teachers is one of the most important parts of this process. Educreations and ClassConnect are two examples of many that can help you get there.
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