Right Now

So here’s my setup:
My classes are flipped, meaning, I record my lectures and upload them to YouTube for the kids to view at home and they do the traditional “homework” in class. Here is the process:

1. I create a skeleton pdf of the concept (through Word) and upload it to Google Docs (reason for that later).

2. I use the free program Formulate Pro to annotate the pdf while recording my pen strokes, voice and video (of my head and shoulders) using Camtasia Mac.

3. I edit the video through Camtasia and directly upload it to YouTube after inserting my intro (made with iMovie).

4. I embed the video on a page of my website which is hosted by GoogleSites. Below the video on the same page, I embed a “video summary” which contains fields for the 3 sentence summary, a question or two about the video, the student name and period of the day.

5. I link the notes and the video (with summary) page on the class site so that the students can download the notes to use on their iPad (we are a 1:1 school) while they watch the video. I give them additional examples in the videos that allow them to practice the concepts after I explain them.

6. I am able to track student summaries and responses to the questions through Google Docs (Drive) and they earn credit for doing the summary. (it is completion credit) I then check their notes the next day in class to see that they are taking notes on the video.

7. We discuss the main concepts of the video the next day in class. I answer questions on the concept as we discuss.

8. In class, they do problems based upon the concept in the video. This may take the form of book problems, a worksheet or mini-project. I am able to circulate and facilitate student work. They can collaborate on harder problems and I can discuss with them specifics of their understanding.

9. We will often do an “extension activity” based upon a “real-life” example (i.e. video, building, exploration, measuring, etc.) to cement the concept to something concrete.

10. At the end of a set of videos that teach a “concept”, we take concept quizzes that are used in a mastery system based on this post by Dan Meyer.

11. The system starts over with the next set of videos.

I like the system. It is neat and clean. There are no excuses (absences, etc.) for students not to have done the work. It is self-contained learning if you want it to be, but it is supplemented by the class discussions and activities to deepen the learning.  It leaves few loopholes in the process and seems to speak to many learning types.  It has worked well so far and students seem to be accountable for watching the videos and taking notes. I understand that there are arguments about the problems with students not knowing how to take notes and connectivity, etc., but in my situation, it seems to work. I am currently struggling with the need to provide more inquiry in preliminary discussions of topics. I have often made video openers that provided unstructured (albeit stilted) examples of the topics to be discussed in the video. This is my area of exploration right now:

Is flipping doing harm to the inquiry process?

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2 Responses to Right Now

  1. Scott Elias says:

    Hi Philip – Congrats on starting your blog! I’m glad to hear that things appear to be working in your situation. My question (to ponder less than to answer right now) is: How do you know?

    Yes, I’m that guy that always asks that.

    Thanks for reading my blog and for your thoughtful post.

    • mrpseris says:

      Wow! My first comment, thanks for the support. I love that question. It really gets to the heart of education: how do you measure “effective teaching”, how do you know you are doing a good job? The more that I read and see, the more I realize that effective teaching is not something that fits into a neat box all the time.

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