– Jake Habegger –
My heart is pounding out of my chest. I feel the beads of sweat slowly trickling down my face. The sound of the opening bell means a new dawn as a new company makes its debut on the Stock Market Exchange. For months, there have been talks about this new tech company, but the moment of truth is at hand. This now publicly-traded company, Flipped Learning, has begun as we stand at the threshold to see if the world is ready for what it has to offer.
I’ll be honest, the stock market, even in normal circumstances, scares me. Many people are great at predictions, but it is in many ways a game of chance. I have been a shareholder in Flipped Learning for five years now, and I have received my ROI (return on investment), and every year my profits are staggering. Deeper relationships are built. Students are more engaged in active learning than ever before. My creative capabilities are powering at full capacity. Is the world ready for the same?
With COVID-19, people are being introduced to Flipped Learning in personal ways they never thought they would. Teachers all over the world are thrown into the realm of digital learning, many without any experience, and many without any desire to do so. Parents are home with multiple children, afraid of what their educational futures will look like. Others, like myself, are grinning ear to ear because we have seen the results this change can make for ourselves and our students. However, the big question remains. Is the world ready?
I have mixed feelings about the answer to this question. On the one hand, I know from personal experience what Flipped Learning can do for education. In my school, our 8th-grade social studies department ranked #1 in our state due to the pedagogical approach we use (flipped mastery learning). I believe that if all teachers, at the start of this crisis, began flipping with the expertise we have developed over the past five years, the world’s education systems would be transformed overnight. Sadly, the other hand knows that most teachers have received very little to no training in this realm that we have all been thrust into, forcing them into uncharted waters that are foreign and uncomfortable.
I truly believe that logic will dictate that our current educational structures are not based on our globally-connected, digital world. But change is coming. The struggle for response in this crisis clearly demonstrates an inability to take on 21st-century challenges in a 21st-century world. However, if/when we return to brick and mortar schools, what will be our takeaways? Again, I see two paths. I believe responses will be based on how well educational institutions responded during the crisis. If professional development was adequate and teachers were motivated to adapt, I believe that the general public would welcome Flipped Learning with open arms. However, if teachers were woefully unprepared due to a lack of a coordinated response by their institutions, there could be a backlash towards any sort of digital learning. Parents may believe that this type of learning is overall ineffective due to their own bad experiences during a crisis.
What can we do?
For those of us who are putting our metaphorical money behind Flipped Learning, we need to do what we can to help. As more success stories come out of this crisis, we will help propel the movement forward. It will take more than being a great practitioner in our classrooms (or silos). This is the time where we need to be leading the charge and stepping up in our schools to lead others during these challenging times.
We must reach out to others who we know are struggling with technology, creating digital content, and engaging students in an online format. Yes, it is true that flipped teachers, such as myself and my closest friends, have our struggles as well. (Link to Bar and Grill?) However, we have been blessed by our past experiences to maneuver during these challenging times in ways that our coworkers have not. It is our responsibility to lead by supporting others through their journeys.
The opening bell has rung. The world will now have to decide if they plan to invest in this new paradigm company that has the potential to change the world. I have invested every last penny into it because I believe in its “Why.” But if you’re still not convinced, stick around, watch the market, and check out the article Flipped Learning: What, Why, Then How, to see why we should help others to invest this opportunity to change the world.