Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Back to the Classroom – Taking It Beyond the Content

Okay so now you have library of digital resources to provide 
content for your students. 
Now What???

You have all of the support mechanisms in line to make sure every student has access to the tools necessary to watch those resources.  The administrators have been pacified, parents have been appeased and the students know what’s happening.

Now it hits you, what happens next in your classroom?  What do you do with all this class time since you don’t need to lecture anymore?  You have all these short demonstrations that you have squeezed into lecture time. Your labs have all been cut down to 30 minutes to fit them in with all the content you had to cover.  And on top of that you have to begin adopting the new standards format set forth by the Next Generation Science Standards. What happens after the video?

There is no one model for the flipped classroom.  Each educator must choose the model that best suits the environment of their classroom, the needs of their students and the, outcomes expected from their specific class, course, department, school and district.

In order to maximize the learning potential of the students, the classroom must be an environment that safe and comfortable for both the educator and the student.

The nature of your classroom model is only limited by your imagination and energy.

While no one model is best, most teachers find that adopting parts of several of the classroom teaching models work best depending upon the nature of the course, subject, topic and learning goals associated with that classroom
Four basic models of the flipped classroom include:

·      Traditional Flipped Model
·      Inquiry Based Approach
·      The Flipped Mastery Approach
·      Project Based Learning

Traditional Flipped Model

This is a good place to begin for most teachers. 

Educators provide access to learning resources in the class and take the role of “Guide on the Side” as students work in peer groups to apply, teach, learn, unlearn and relearn.
Students are encouraged to take an active role in their own learning process.

Inquiry Based Approach

Students learn to take ownership of their own learning by searching for answers about their own questions.  Students can work independently or in groups to conduct the inquiry process.  Students are encouraged to follow the steps of the scientific method in this approach: 
·      State the Problem
·      Research the Concept
·      Form a Hypothesis
·      Test the Hypothesis,
·      Gather and Process Data
·      Form Conclusions
·      Present the Work

Flipped Mastery Approach

This model allows the educator to truly become the “Guide on the Side” as this is a self-directed learning model where students work at their own pace to gain mastery of a concept before moving on to the next topic.  Students can work independently or in peer group teams.  Educators monitor student progress and encourage students to maximize their potential. 

This model provides the best opportunity for differentiation in the classroom.  The accelerated learner can move through the material quickly and provide opportunities to explore content beyond the framework objectives.  Students who process at varying levels can achieve the framework objectives at their own pace and using a variety of digital content and assessment modes.  Students who find passion in specific topics can spend extra time and dig deeper into the content material in order to satisfy intellectual curiosity.  

Project Based Learning

Using real-world problems to inspire students to apply content to the solution, students use critical thinking and problem solving to create solutions.  Learning objectives go beyond the understanding of the content but are dependent upon the application of the knowledge in some concrete demonstration.  Students are encouraged to create self- assessment and feedback loops to monitor their progress and the ultimate success of their project outcome. This model encourages students to develop the 21st century skills necessary to enter the job market of their future.  

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