Monday, June 1, 2015

The 6 C's Squared Version of Learning Skills for the Twenty-First Century

The (6 C’s)2 of Education for the 21st Century

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.
                                                                                                             -Alvin Toffler -

Think Critically

Thinking Critically allows the individual to manage information. Information presented in a multitude of forms from a variety of media. Information that must be filtered and analyzed, authenticated and processed, and eventually must be synthesized in a form that will be useful to the individual. 

Characterize –
Where does the information come from? What is the validity of the information? What is the usefulness of the information?
Classify -
Where does the information fit within the parameters of previous knowledge?
Compare -
What are the positive and negative aspects of the information compared to know values?
Connect –
How can this information be related to what is known and what is necessary to understand?
Communicate -
How can this information be effectively passed on to those who can utilize the material?
Curate -
How can the information be formatted in a functional format for use today and in the future?

Work Collaboratively

Working Collaboratively engages the individual in the world they share through association. Association, that is created to benefit an organization and as a means to conduct business. Association that includes partnership and teamwork, leadership and assistance, and an alliance that serves to benefit the whole.

Collegiality –
How can varying personalities be valued and utilized for optimum outcomes?
Coordination –
How can the talents included in this collaborative effort be maximized for success.
Communication –
What are the most effective means of communication to create an inclusive collaborative effort?
Coherence –
How do the members of a collaborative effort maximize strengths and overcome weaknesses in order to maximize outcomes?
Character  -
How do respect and integrity play a role in the effectiveness of a collaboration?
Celebration –
How is the success of the collaboration measured and valued?

Communicate  Clearly

Communicating Clearly provides the means by which the individual can present information. Information presented in a multitude of means through a variety of media. Information that is clear and concise, effective and engaging. Information that must eventually be presented in a way that is meaningful to the individual as well as a global audience.

Clear –
Is the information effective for the intended audiences?
Concise –
Is the information formatted in the most efficient means available?
Concrete –
Does the information have a defined purpose and meaning?
Coherent –
Does the information provide connections to previous knowledge and intended use?
Correct –
Is the information correct and are resources available to validate?
Complete –
Is the information presented in entirety or are resources available to complete connections?

Embrace Culture

Embracing Culture encourages the individual to appreciate where we have come from, who we are now and how we can move into the future.  Culture associates the individual to all that surrounds them: art, drama, dance poetry, history, science, religion, written and unwritten language, technology and the individual themselves.

Core Values –
What are the basic beliefs and understandings of this cultural community?
Community -
How does the community function as an entity and within the realm of all other communities?
Chronicle -
How is the history and beliefs of this culture passed on to new generations?
Commitment  -
How is community committed to maintaining the values and relationships of the past, present and future of the culture?
Celebrations –
How are the milestones and values of the culture celebrated within the community?
Connection –
How are the members of the community included in understanding the past while shaping the future?

Develop Creativity

Developing Creativity provides an avenue for expression.  The structure means nothing without function.  Therefore, the individual must be capable of creating something with the knowledge that they have worked so hard to obtain.  It is in creating that the individual gains purpose.

Curiosity -
How is the desire to gain understanding cultivated to expand both knowledge and possibility?
Courage –
How does the environment reduce the fear of failure in order to maximize the possibilities for innovation an change?
Conceptualize –
How is ideation encouraged to maximize the imaginative process?
Constructive –
What are the processes involved from conceptualization to completion?
Change –
How is creativity  valued as a vehicle for change?
Cultural –
How is the process related to the cultural understandings of the community?

Utilize Connectivity

Utilizing Connectivity places the individual in touch with their world.  In today’s existence that is increasingly through the technology that is rapidly changing the way they view their world.  Understanding that connections are personal no matter what the means of contact and that humanity must remain in light of how the technology may change for each individual.

Communication -
How is technology utilized as a means of clear communication?
Curation -
How is content gathered, processed and stored for now and the future?
Coordination –
How are the aspects of  technology maximized for the community?
Connectedness -
How is technology utilized as a means of connecting to the global community?
Collaboration –
How is technology employed to create avenues of collaboration in the digital world?
Citizenship –
How is the responsibility of digital citizenship shared by all members of the community?

Monday, April 13, 2015



"Success is never final, failure is never fatal, 
it is courage that counts."
                                              - Winston Churchill -

What if these individuals allowed their failures to get in the way of their eventual success?

Lance Armstrong ended dead last in his first cycling race?

Lucille Ball was told to, "try another profession," when she first took up acting.

Robin Williams was voted "Least Likely to Succeed" in his senior class.

Walt Disney was fired from his job on a newspaper because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas."

R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store was finally successful in New York.

Elvis Presley was fired after his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

Babe Ruth also held the strike out record.

Michael Jordan missed over 9,000 free throws, lost almost 300 games and failed 26 times on game winning shots.

And of course there is the ultimate record in failure:

  • Failed in business in 1831
  • Defeated for a seat in the legislature in1832
  • Failed in business in 1833
  • Suffered a nervous breakdown in 1836
  • Lost for Speaker of the House in 1838
  • Defeated as an elector in 1840
  • Defeated for Congress in 1843
  • Defeated for Senate 1855
  • Lost Vice Presidential election in 1856Lost in a Senate race in 1858


Abraham Lincoln who was elected the sixteenth President of the United States.

As educators it is vital that we teach our students to accept failure as a step on the road to success.  That, it is in understanding what caused the failure that they can gain insight into what might be the correct path to choose.  It is the fear of failure that paralyzes their initiative and they do not continue to progress torward their ultimate goal. An even greater injustice is, if the fear of failure keeps them from making any attempt what so ever.   It is the responsibility of the educator to create an environment based upon challenge that does not instill fear and failure that is celebrated as a stepping stone towoard personal success.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Choice is a key to Flipped Classroom Success

Choice is a key to Flipped Classroom Success

Provide choices for the students to meet their responsibilities for learning.  Options in the videos they watch, the articles they read or the media used to acquire knowledge.  Provide a bank of options for students to utilize and encourage them to explore other options on their own. 

Provide choices in the methods used to demonstrate their understanding of the content and ways the standards have been achieved.  Assessment opportunities should be both formative and summative and demand that students be capable of dealing with higher order thinking.

Provide time for students to take in the content.  If a student has only one window to hit the target there is a greater opportunity for them to opt out.  However, when there is time for them to choose when they take in the content there is less chance that they can find a reason to opt out. 

Choice provides the student an opportunity to take ownership of their learning process.  When students take ownership of their learning they find more value in the process.  If there is value in the process the student finds greater opportunity for engagement.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"FLIPPED" Classroom Is All About The Relationships

“FLIPPED” Classroom Is All About The Relationships

Most educators who consider flipping develop angst beginning with the fear of making videos. The concerns typically center on the time necessary to make the videos, the technological skills to produce the videos or the where with all to put voice and/or face on public display.  And of course there is the option to use the million or so videos that are already available through, YouTube, Vimeo, Teacher Tube, etc… But I shout from the highest blog post, IT IS NOT ABOUT THE VIDEO!!!

 While videos do play a roll in most “Flipped” classrooms, the videos are simply a tool that can be employed for delivery of content.  Articles, documentaries, textbooks, websites are also valuable tools to disseminate content.

The success of any classroom but specially a “Flipped” classroom is in the building of relationships.  There are three primary relationships that are central to the success of the flipped classroom.  These are, in no particular order: Student to Subject, Student to Student and Student to Teacher.

The Student to Subject Relationship.

Just because I now flip my class, I still get the occasional, “When am I going to use this in real life?” response from a student. However, this has diminished significantly as a result of focusing my classroom on three key aspects, a more inquiry based hands on approach, more peer teaching and learning and more exposure to the subject matter in the real world.  Each of these aspects have immersed students in the material in a way that they see greater value in the subject. 

Students who experience learning and are encouraged seek answers to their own questions are very seldom bored with the subject.  They find the content delivered outside of class time as more valuable to their success in class. 

Students who are responsible for their peer’s learning success tend to develop an understanding that their own success is dependent upon the success of those who surround them.  They become more responsible not only for themselves but also for their peers.  Their need to fit in becomes dependent upon their preparation and therefore they value the subject more.

Providing resources outside of class to experience how the subject works in the world brings light to the importance of the subject content.  Providing personal experience, guest speakers in person or through virtual content, and projects that connect the content and student to their world brings value to the subject.

The Student to Student Relationship

In 1981 Dr. Gary Phillips conducted research for the National School improvement Project.  While his results brought about some minor changes in educational circles in the decade of the eighties, there is one piece of his data that stands out.  Three months after we have learned some thing, we will remember 92% of what we have taught to someone else.  It is in the process of gathering information, taking ownership of the knowledge and then taking responsibility for sharing that material with someone else that we solidify our own understanding of the subject.  Students who can develop a trust in themselves and their peers for the process of learning will master material at a greater rate and consistency than those who learn on their own.
While the “Flipped” model provides opportunity for individualized instruction and the possibility for a mastery level approach. However, the true value of the flipped model comes from the opportunities for greater student interaction and more peer to peer teaching .  It is in building those students relationships that students develop accountability for themselves and to their peers.

The Student to Teacher Relationship

The “Flipped” classroom is best structured as a student centered learning environment. This means that the educator must transition from the deliverer of content to the facilitator of learning; the “Sage on the Stage” becomes the “Guide on the Side”.  It is in this role that the flipped educator can interact with students in a way that provides opportunities for assessment, remediation, and inspiration.

The flipped educator creates the path for learning and allows the student the opportunity to take ownership of their mastery of the subject.  As the facilitator of learning the educator acts as guide and mentor taking advantage of teachable moments and learning opportunities that will enhance the student experience in the subject.

When students return for their 20 year reunion, the discussion will never begin with, “Oh man, I remember that great packet of 10 problems you gave us for gas laws.” The conversation will always be about the relationships tended. How they felt, and what they experienced.     

While the videos may play a pivotal role in providing delivery of content outside of the classroom, it is the time created in the classroom that becomes invaluable to developing the relationships that allow students to take ownership of their learning path and provide value to the subject matter.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

“Flip” Your Science Instruction Workshop

Flipping Your Science Classroom

This seminar was organized, thought provoking and practical! Brian is an engaging teacher and I'm taking away more than just ideas about flipping my instruction!"
Nichole Benson
High School  Instructional Coach

Practical Strategies and the Best New Tools to Successfully “Flip” your Science Instruction. (Grades 6-12)

Seminar Presented by BRIAN MILLER
Outstanding Science Educator and National Presenter

Specifically Designed for Educators Who Teach Science in Grades 6-12:
Classroom Teachers, Special Education Staff, Title I Staff, Science Specialist and Coaches, Technology Specialists and Administrators. 

·      Learn the key components to successfully flip you’re your classroom instruction for science in grades (6-12).
·      Step-by-step ideas for creating flipped science lessons that fully engage your students and enhance their learning.
·      Powerful websites, apps and educational innovations that shaping the future of effective science instruction and reaching all students. 
·      Strategies, tips and timesaving tools to meet the needs of all of your students in science by using the best technology tools to flip your science instruction.
·      Innovative, engaging, accessible apps and outstanding tech tools – including virtual manipulatives – to create engaging, differentiated science lessons.
·      Receive an extensive resource handbook filled with dozens of resources, strategies and ready-to-use tips to begin flipping your science instruction. 

"You can tell Brian is a teacher, and not just a presenter. 
He gave us ownership of this seminar in the same way he 
encouraged us to give our students ownership of their learning!"
Kathy Buck
8th Grade Science Teacher


Discover the Key Components for Flipping Your Science Classroom. 
Learn from an experienced and enthusiastic secondary science educator and national presenter about the essential components for creating a flipped learning environment for science in grades 6-12…Practical tips to get you started in implementing this powerful approach to teaching. 

Make Your Class Time More Student Centered.
By having students access science lessons outside of class, you will free up valuable class time for laboratory work, experimental demonstrations, hands on collaboration, small group work, and opportunities for students to practice and master key science skills and processes…See how to do this in ways that will enhance student learning. 

Tap into Highly Effective Apps and Free Tools to Bring New Life to Your Science Lessons.
Learn step-by-step strategies for using apps, free software programs and outstanding tools – including virtual manipulatives – to create short videos that introduce         students to new concepts and skills..See  how to create multimedia presentations that keep students engaged and allow them multiple opportunities to view your introductory lessons.

Maximize Every Student’s Science Learning.
Enhance your science program by flipping your classroom for any science discipline…Discover dozens of highly motivating activities designed to engage all types of learners both within and outside the classroom.

Meet Your Students on Their Terms and Through Their Media.
Students today are highly skilled in using technology and they learn best by using the tools they love to use…Discover cutting-edge technology techniques to get students fully involved in learning science.

Increase Student-to-Teacher Interaction Time.
Learn how flipping for science increases student-to-teacher interaction, which leads to greater student achievement…Practical ideas to focus on students’ specific needs and to make learning math more enjoyable and more successful.

 See the Results from Using Today’s Best Technology Resources.
Engage your students in motivating “just right” activities that will positively influence their performance on high-stakes testing, including those associated with the Next Generation Science Standards…Take advantage of the power of flipping your classroom to help your students succeed.

Use Apps and Online Resources for Formative Assessment

See multiple ways to use today’s best apps and web-based resources to quickly and efficiently gauge your students’ progress in science... Timesaving tools you can use immediately to assess students’ learning and best address their needs 

Create Differentiated Activities Based on Students’ Needs

See how to use the flipped classroom model to work with your struggling students as well as to provide opportunities for advanced students to achieve more in-depth levels of understanding ... Proven strategies that students love and effective techniques that will significantly decrease their stress or boredom in learning math. 

Receive an Extensive Resource Handbook Focused on Flipping Your Science Classroom 
Each participant will receive a comprehensive resource handbook filled with practical ideas, apps, websites, and valuable strategies for creating, finding and managing flipped lessons for math in grades 6-12 ... Dozens of practical ideas, information and resources to help you get started immediately! 

"I have been teaching for non years and I can honestly say this was the most helpful and useful seminar I have attended! Brian enlightened and inspired me to try flipping my instruction!"
Matt PereKupka
Chemistry Teacher