Sunday, June 23, 2013

Climbing Pyramid Bloom's with the FLIP Pillars: Evaluating

CC Image courtesy of New Blooms Pyramid by Andrea Hernandez on Flickr

For my penultimate blog post in the “Climbing Pyramid Blooms” series, I will attempt to evaluate the FLIP Pillars by ranking them in order of importance to me.

4th place: Learning Culture - to clarify in a seemingly hypocritical way, I think the learning culture has the most potential to transform education. However, it is possible to have a flipped classroom and a satisfactory education even in a teacher centered classroom (I know - blasphemy!) In fact, according to Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams, first versions of the flipped classroom WERE teacher centered. And yet, It was an improved version of the traditional “sit and get” models. For my purposes, I’ve ranked learning culture as the least important, for now, because it is not an urgent change. Eventually, my plan is to create a student-centered (and maybe even student-directed) classroom. But I repeat, changing the learning culture, while not urgent, has the greatest potential of all of the pillars.

3rd place: Flexibility - my thoughts about flexibility mirror those of learning culture. I see flexibility and learning culture as intimately intertwined, more so than the other two pillars. They both hold the greatest potential to individualize learning. However, a flipped class can exist with a minor amount of flexibility.  

2nd place: Intentional Content -  when Jon and Aaron began to flip their class, it came out of their ability to film and share lectures. I’ve heard experienced “flippers” say that “it’s not about the videos.” I suspect I will say the same as I gain more experience. However, for a “baby flipper” it IS all about the videos; especially considering that I don’t really know how to make videos. I’ve made 5 or 6 videos on my iPad using Explain Everything but I would like to make future videos using Camtasia. So for me, figuring out which content to put into videos, and how to do it, is the key.  The video lesson is the entry point to this world of flipping. I plan to make my first quarter videos during the summer to give me some wiggle room as I create more videos and delve into creating flexible assessments and shifting to a student-centered learning culture. I’ve wanted to do more problem solving, case studies, projects and inquiry but the direct instruction took up a major chunk of time. Creating the videos will open that time for the real goodies!

1st Place: Professional Educator - it might be a cliché that a teacher ought to be a lifelong learner but it is true! I would venture to argue that the professional educator should not a one of the four pillars but should be the base at the bottom of our flipped paradigm. Considering that education has traditionally been teacher centered, rigid and content-driven, there is a lot of learning for us to do. In a world with our educational history, the other three pillars can not stand without having a base in teacher education and professional development. I learned of the flipped classroom from a colleague. I became aware of FlipCon13 from a blog, learned Camtasia from FlipCon13 and became aware of the graduate course from an email sent to those registered for FlipCon13. Improvements in my class will stem from my Personal Learning Network and future studies.