To Flip or not to Flip, is that really the Flippin’ Question?

The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con

As far as I can see classrooms today, it is obvious something has to change.  When it comes to that change it starts and ends with the leader of that classroom, the teacher.

I have seen read various pro’s and con’s to using or not using a flipped classroom approach.  Honestly, the issue in my opinion is not to flip or not to flip, it’s to change or not to change.  So many teachers go into the profession to inspire children and spark an interest to learn in them.  Unfortunately, teaching has changed leaps and bounds from that way that any future teacher has been taught.

So many students look up to a teacher and want to be like them or do the same thing.  When that student does become the teacher, simply mimicking that teacher they had is not good enough to becoming an excellent teacher.  By the time any individual has gone from student to teacher, it will undoubtedly have been nearly 20 years since they were the student.  When it comes to education, history shows us that huge changes occur in even just 5-10 year spans let alone 20 years.

The idea of the flipped classroom is not about the simple concept of a flipped classroom, but it becomes more changing as a teacher from what we grew up with as students.  As long as a teacher makes the effort to adapt their teaching, to their students any change is positive.  Many doubters of the flipped classroom claim it makes teaching automated.  Of course, if the teacher simply puts a video up that is doing their job, it has been automated.  I have had plenty of classes where a teacher or professor decides to show the class a film or video clip, is that a flipped classroom?  I’ve had teachers who do nothing be lecture and drone on about a subject in a monotone voice, and a script of information that they have no doubt used for years upon years, is that automated thus being flipped?

I believe that changing classroom structures to solely being flipped or totally not flipped is not beneficial for students.  What benefits students is any display of passion and authentic excitement from a teacher in any means that teacher chooses to display it.  My fondest memories of particular teachers was not the method on which they chose to teach, but how much passion and love for a subject that came out of their creativity in demonstrating the information.

So do we flip or not?  Well, I think it gets answered by the best pragmatic response… It all depends.

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PiktoChart

I found out about PiktoChart from a tweet a got from @Edudemic.  They tweet a lot, but there are definitely some good finds if you pay attention.

Piktochart example comparison chart

Click to see Piktochart.com

Piktochart is a great way to visualize pretty much anything.  For a visual learner like me it’s an amazing tool.  The ability to drag and drop with this site makes it super easy to create awesome visuals.  There are many themes and ready-made tools to help anyone make a graphic like the one above.

I think believe this will be a very useful tool for me in visualizing a number of things in my classroom, not to mention it gives me a great idea for a lesson plan/class assignment or project.

Quest 2 Learn

Quest 2 Learn

My reaction to this particular learning program is of excitement and wonder.  These children are using computers and technology to create games that could possibly revolutionize the teaching industry.  I heard someone in the video say if we teach our children today the way we did yesterday, we robe them of tomorrow.  I think that is very true particularly in this 21st Century world we live in now.

I think that the use of games doesn’t have to be limited to computers.  I have a strong believe that using sports or sport like games can also be a valuable tool for children to learn.  I hope that creative computer gaming can do as one speaker in the video mentioned that games be the means to instruct and test children all at once.

I have experience with playing games particularly video and computer games as I’ve grown up.  What didn’t come to my attention until I saw this video was that all games instruct or teach the gamer how to play and in finishing or “winning” the game the player knows the skills the game has taught you.  Unfortunately, when I think about educational games, they are all very remedial and meant for very small children.  I recall when I was learning to type on the computer I played a game that helped me learn it.  It wasn’t exactly exciting or provocative that I wanted to play it, although it was a game it didn’t really take my attention away from wanting to play real video games or on the computer.

Seeing the innovative things Quest 2 Learn is doing it might be possible for kids to create games that kids would be interested in enough to play to completion and actually learn something useful.

Kindergarten Introduction to History & Social Science

Kindergarten Introduction to History & Social Science

My Learning Standard Focus

My standard of learning focus for this semester is Kindergarten History & Social Science as it specifically pertains to students learning about maps and globes and how it applies to them in real-life situations.  I’d like to find a way to integrate daily activities throughout a school year that would help assist the children in understanding maps, globes, and how they help in everyday life.