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Today’s post was written by Stephen Crapnell, high school Mathematics teacher and Head of eLearning at All Hallows’ School in Brisbane, Australia. He will be hosting a webinar exploring flipped classroom learning using Office Mix Friday, August 15th at 3pm PT. If you’re interested, please register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1060337488297425665
When discussing with a class of senior mathematics students how we could more effectively use the precious class time we have, one student jokingly responded by saying she needs me there at night when she is grappling with applying the concepts from the lesson that day. The comment was made in a humor but it ignited the class into a discussion on how we actually spend our class time. Was it the most efficient and effective use of time, given the digital technologies at our disposal?
The conclusion this class came to was that our limited face to face time would be better spent collectively developing deeper understandings, problem solving and making connections to the coursework rather than a lecture style transmission of content, with follow up questions to be done at home.
This discussion moved me to investigate the Mix add-in for PowerPoint. Coupled with the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 device, Mix is a digital technology that has the potential to extend the learning platform and experiences beyond the classroom. One key positive with respect to the Mix add-in is that it utilizes resources that have been previously created by a teacher, namely PowerPoint decks.
Mix provides teachers with the opportunity to include audio, annotations and screenshots to an existing and familiar technology among educators. The quiz app and the analytics associated with Mix also addresses a key aspect of the successful flipped classroom—students are actively engaged in the learning.
The result was I developed and delivered the next couple of units modeled on the ‘flipped’ classroom approach. The flipped classroom exists in a variety of forms but, with respect to my mathematics classroom, we started by attempting to reverse the typical lecture and homework elements of the course. The purpose was to free up class time in order to investigate problem solving in a collaborative environment, where discussions and further consolidation of key concepts could take place in a teacher (mentor) supported environment. The theory lessons, which were the student’s first exposure to the new material, were screen cast and accessed through the schools Learning Management System (LMS). Students were tasked with watching the lessons, taking the relevant notes and preparing follow up questions prior to the next lesson. This was, essentially, their homework. In a nutshell, the experience was largely positive for both students and myself.
No doubt the advances in technology have allowed the student experience to be more interactive and distributed. As teachers, it is incumbent upon us to examine, investigate and try new techniques that utilize the digital technologies. How do we best take advantage of what technology allows us to do?
Steve will host a live webinar on Friday, August 15th at 3pm PT. If you’re an educator looking to better incorporate technology in the classroom, please join Steve as he explores the ways he uses Office Mix to flip his classroom and help his students become faster learners.
You can register for this webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1060337488297425665