End of the Year
We finished our last final on Wednesday. At the end of each school year I reflect on the teaching techniques I used during the year. I like to change “things” up as they say if something didn’t work. One of the changes I made this year included flipping my classroom for a unit. It really was a chance to try out the technique everyone has been talking about. I had decided to flip the classroom for our Oceanography unit. I used the PowerPoint for the unit as a starting point. With permission from my Departmental Chairperson I purchased a Wacom pad and a flipz camera. I ended up not using the flipz camera because I used the Smart recorder to record the vodcast.
It was not hard to do. Since I work with video equipment in school, I’m also the Digital Video teacher; I pretty much knew what to do. So I used the Wacom pad to write on the PowerPoint as I recorded the desktop through my Smart Recorder. The smart recorder comes with smart board tools, if you have smart board or symposium, this software contains a recorder. One key point is that I didn’t appear in the video, students could only hear me. With the videos I assigned worksheets, they were simple fill-in or short answer questions, but students needed to pay close attention to the vodcasts because some of the answers to the questions were written by me in the vodcasts. Students were given a due date for the vodcasts, on that day they would take a brief assessment. Before students took the assessment I went over any questions students might have. I did not use the assessment as a grade since students were being introduced to a new form of teaching.
The good points about this technique is it allowed me more time in class for labs and activities. I could work with individual students on different content and also help them with their end of the year project. As for the students, I had them complete a formative assessment and asked them for their opinions. Some of the answers I received were not surprising, however there were a couple that were well thought out and helpful. Most students enjoyed the vodcasts, some suggested I be in them while others were fine with the format. A few students suggested I create more in depth worksheets to match the vodcasts.
Overall I think the flipped classroom worked well, there are some features I will change or improve upon. My next technique to use is white boarding. Since I will be teaching a physics class next year I think the white board model will work well. A colleague is attending a class online about white board modeling and will be sharing more information with me this summer.
Have a great summer!