Tuesday, October 15, 2013

That was in the movie

But not in the book. I remember those college days when instead of doing the assigned reading, some of us would watch the movie instead. Unfortunately, sometimes the movies would deviate from the book.

I also remember the days in college where we would blow off the assigned reading since the professor was only going to cover it in class anyway and we were POSITIVE we would be able to follow the lecture. After all, there was always going to be some one who would eventually stop the lecture to ask anyway.

Have MOOCs changed anything? Instead of reading the book, now one can actually watch the movie instead!

Here's a concept that some have advocated based on the success of MOOCs - a hybrid of online and in-class instruction:
Three years ago, Clintondale High School, just north of Detroit, became a “flipped school” — one where students watch teachers’ lectures at home and do what we’d otherwise call “homework” in class. Teachers record video lessons, which students watch on their smartphones, home computers or at lunch in the school’s tech lab. In class, they do projects, exercises or lab experiments in small groups while the teacher circulates.
No school has taken flipping as far as Clintondale. It began because Greg Green, the principal, had been recording videos on baseball techniques and posting them on YouTube for his 11-year-old son’s team. Recording the content allowed kids to watch the videos repeatedly to grasp the ideas, and left more time for hands-on work at practices.
It gave him an idea, and in the spring of 2010, he set up an experiment: He had a social studies teacher, Andy Scheel, run two classes with identical material and assignments, but one was flipped. The flipped class had many students who had already failed the class — some multiple times.
After 20 weeks, Green said, Scheel’s flipped students, despite their disadvantages, were outperforming the students in the traditional classroom. No student in the flipped class received a grade lower than a C+. The previous semester 13 percent had failed. This semester, none did. In the traditional classroom, there was no change in achievement.
But will watching videos go the way of assigned reading? (emphasis mine)

Especially in low-income communities, some students don’t have access to the tech they need to watch videos. Students I talked to said that about 10 percent don’t — but they easily watch at school. Just because students can watch, of course, doesn’t mean they do watch. (See the discussion page here for teachers’ advice on getting students to do homework.)
Salman Khan, founder of the Khan academy, makes a good point in his book, “The One World Schoolhouse”: If students are going to skip homework, it’s far better to miss watching a video than to miss doing the problem sets.
This is the second and far more important shift that comes with flipped classrooms: it frees up class time for hands-on work. Students learn by doing and asking questions — school shouldn’t be a spectator sport. ”A lot of people think it just has to do with technology,” said Kim Spriggs, who teaches business and marketing. “It’s actually more time for kids to do higher-order thinking and hands-on projects. Instead of presenting the information in class and having students work on projects at home, where they don’t necessarily have support, here in class, one-on-one or in small groups, I can help them immediately.” Students can also help each other, a process that benefits both the advanced and less advanced learners.
Lastly, this was the most interesting bit:
The flipped classroom is a new experience for students — but also for teachers, who are going from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side,” as many education writers put it. For good teachers, that’s liberating. “I have a YouTube video on subject-verb agreement that has 54,000 views,” said Dameron. “I don’t want to give that lecture every year.”
Townsend said he feels like an “educational artist” who doesn’t just talk and hand out sheets. “I can create interactive lessons and exciting content. There’s so much more time to educate!”
Flipped classrooms require more creativity and energy from the teacher. “You are off your chair the entire hour and walking around,” said Dameron. “Lots of teachers who aren’t really good teachers are resistant to this — they like to build time into the day when kids are working to do their taxes or catch up on email.”.

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