– by Jon Bergmann and Errol St.Clair Smith –
“I would almost argue that video might not necessarily be one of the best activities to do for students on their own because it doesn’t have any social component, it basically moves a flawed approach to teaching and moves it outside. Anything that engages the students outside of the classroom would be preferable over just watching videos,” said Mazur.
Instead of just sending videos home with students, Flipped Learning innovators are sending the social relational elements of the group space home with students as well.
Dr. Mazur’s tool, Perusall is text-based and allows students to comment on text and comment on each other’s comments. Teachers can then get a view into student comments which helps them to prepare for the group space. Additionally, teachers can view a “confusion report” which summarizes what students are struggling with. The tool also automatically scores the quality of student comments using a sophisticated algorithm.
There are also some video-based tools that are starting to scratch the surface of how to make flipped videos social. Two tools on the cutting edge in this space are Flipgrid and Voicethread. Both tools allow students the ability to add comments or video to a flipped video.
Learning Management Systems
Perhaps the simplest way to make the individual space social is to use the forums features in your learning management system.
All of the tools mentioned above have some limitations. With Perusall, we would like to see the ability for teachers to ask some pointed questions inside the text to get very directed responses. The tools AcitvelyLearn and InsertLearning have these features but lacks the social aspect of Perusall.
The video tools would be better if a teacher could specify questions inside the video and get feedback. Two tools that track and allow for questioning are EdPuzzle and Playposit. But neither of them bring in the social aspects.
The most innovative Flipped Learning practitioners we encounter think beyond the videos. They are aware that the group space is where the promise of Flipped Learning really happens. Our surveys reveal that Flipped Learning innovators use a variety of instructional tactics and strategies to replace direct instruction. They also display a more advanced level of group space mastery.
The most innovative Flipped Learning practitioners see insularity as a threat to their competence, value, and careers. Where many strive to build a mote around their classrooms, schools, or school systems, innovators are anxious about not doing what the best flippers know and do. They look outside of traditional silos to engage with other Flipped Learning practitioners. Where many recoil at the burden of ongoing professional development, these innovators are eager to learn new ways to use Flipped Learning more effectively. They value being on the leading edge and being among the first movers. They may have been the first in their schools to flip their class, introduce a light board or start a project with a teacher in another country. The global insights they bring to their schools and institutions often lead to new career opportunities. Their inclination to exchange ideas and instructional strategies with others often result in “next practices” for Flipped Learning.
It’s almost impossible to talk to 100 Flipped Learning innovators and not have a few “aha” moments. As we prepared for the May issue of FLR, educators like Dan Jones, Terra Graves, and Tom Mennella provided a glimpse of what the most advanced Flipped Learning innovators are doing differently. But they also helped us to see what we should do differently as well. Their insights revealed the outline of the next frontier and made a strong case for socializing the individual space and focusing more attention on group space mastery. That’s our big take away from this issue, and this month we’ll be rolling out a couple of new programs to do both.
So if you are an innovative educator stay tuned, these next practices in Flipped learning will be coming soon to a classroom near you.