Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Note: I would highly suggest you check out these sessions yourself as well, because what stood out to me may not be what impacts you the most! :) 
Register for virtual access to all these sessions here.

See previous posts about #flipcon12 here:

Last afternoon of #flipcon12! I am very excited for the archives to be posted next week. After this week, ISTE next week, and then watching all the sessions I missed, I may be PD-d out for the summer!!! But, it's all good :)

It is very helpful for me to blog and digest what I heard because honestly, right now, it's all just coming so fast. I'm planning on trying to blog at ISTE (who knows, it may be too crazy!) and blogging through the archived #flipcon12 sessions. I will probably give it a couple of weeks and then decide what I am going to do with all of it and where I want to go with all this info in my classroom.

Alright, Keynote #3 (or "plenary session #3", as it is officially called :)). Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams are two teachers formerly from Woodland Park, CO (Jon moved on last year and is a Technology Coordinator in Illinois I believe, and Aaron is moving to Philadelphia (?) this next year). They both taught science and flipped their classes for about 6 years. I am excited to get their book, which should be in the mail any day now. You can find it at

Here are some things that stood out to me, which is definitely not all inclusive of everything they talked about... (from Jon/Aaron in bold, from me in italics):

Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams - Keynote 3 - The future of the flipped class

    • Knowledge resided in the teacher’s head, the textbooks, and the library... now there is no shortage of information with the internet, iPhones, etc... education is changing!
      • This is how education used to be...times are changing and so must we!
    • #flipclass is a “bottom up” movement - it is coming from the trenches, from the classrooms!  Individual teachers are taking the idea and doing what they think will work in their classroom with it. “A bunch of teachers trying to do what is best for their kids”
    • “Where did this idea come from?”
      • Having a conversation with Asst. Sup’t of Schools at Woodland Park. “My daughter’s boyfriend loves these videos because he doesn’t have to go to class anymore!” → Then what is the value of class time? BIG QUESTION: “What is the best use of your face-to-face class time?”  There is not one way to do this or one answer.  Don’t adopt the “Bergmann - Sams method” - do what’s best for YOUR students!
        • I think this is one of the biggest things I've learned this year... well maybe a few things. #1 My class time must still be valuable to students #2 My class time doesn't need to look anything like another flipper's class time because I need to do what is best for my students and they need to do what is best for theirs.  Yes, we will probably have similar bits and pieces as we share with each other, but there isn't a step by step guide on how to make this work.
    • Flipped Class 101
      • What used to be done in class is done at home, what used to be done in home is done in class - very FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL flip
      • Pretty much every teacher starts here... most don’t STAY here!
        • I was here for the first 3 months or so, and then I got connected online and really started trying some new ideas out.  Until I started communication with my PLN, I was stuck in "Flipped Class 101"
    • Myths and Misconceptions about the Flipped Class
      • Flipped Learning Relies on Videos
        • Yes, a key component and a valuable tool to have as an archive 
          • I am very interested to see where I am at this time next year. I still see the videos as a very important part of my flipped class, but I am really hoping to broaden my horizons this year and see what happens!   
      • Flipped Learning Creates a Digital Divide
        • 20% of kids had no internet at home when they started this 6 years ago. Flash drives, DVDs... just a little creativity!!
        • Yes, a legitimate concern and you must address it... but it’s NOT an insurmountable hurdle.  Be resourceful! Be Creative!!
      • Flipped Learning Propagates Bad Teaching (lectures)
        • Video is not just recorded lectures!
        • Flipping enables amazing things to happen in the classroom
        • Bring other mediums into the video! Interaction! Real-life examples!
          • I don't think my videos are amazing, but I do think they are pretty good. I try to stay engaging and interactive with the students...but I'm always looking for more ideas!
      • Flipped Learning Relies on Homework
        • not necessarily. 
          • My flipped class runs best right now when students do watch the video outside of class time (which normally means at home). I haven't gotten to the point of eliminating hw yet, and don't know if I want to in math.  Again, we'll see where I am at next year!
      • Flipped Learning Requires Front-Loading with Video
        • Can put video in middle of the learning cycle after topic has been introduced
        • Flipping Bloom’s Taxonomy - videos are great for Remembering/Understanding!
          • I front-load the majority of my content.  Something I would like to try to do this year with some of the trickier concepts is do a 5-10 minute intro at the end of class for what they will be watching that night, just to get their minds in the right place.  Another something to think about...
    • The Flipped Classroom is a TECHNIQUE that you leverage when it is appropriate to meet the needs of our students.  This is also a STEPPING STONE/BRIDGE towards heading towards a more project-based, student-centered environment 
      • This makes me think of something someone said on twitter in the last few days: (paraphrased) "Isn't a student-centered environment what we have wanted all along? Why do you need the flipped class to do that??"  My response: YES, I think we all want a student-centered classroom. It's just really hard to do in today's day and age with all the pressures and content and testing and such.  So, the flipped classroom is a TOOL/TECHNIQUE that has worked FOR ME to get that student-centered classroom in a way I wasn't able to do with traditional.
    • Universal Design for Learning … Inquiry … PBL … Mastery … PD … AFL … 21st century learning
      • The flipped classroom is what connects all of these together and allows us to actually have the time and figure out how to do it in class
      • These are all things we’ve WANTED to do... but never really had time to do in class.  By restructuring time so “direct instruction” is done outside of class, it frees up time to actually do all this stuff.
        • I want to look into all of these later this summer :)
    • Steve Kelly video (again)
      • They showed some edited clips from here, so I thought I would just embed the whole thing here.

    • Carolyn Durley video
      • Carolyn (@okmbio) is another one of my tweeps (who is heading up the Canadian flipped conference later this week with a couple of other awesome flippers!!). Jon and Aaron asked her to put together a video for their keynote.  So, here is one the Canadian flippers put together about "Flipped Classroom as a vehicle to the future" and then one of Carolyn talking about her experience with the Flipped Classroom. Great stuff!

    • In 5  years time...
      • Redesigning learning spaces
      • Gamification - Paul Anderson (Bozeman Biology)
      • Hiring - how does this change how we hire?
      • Differentiation - FC solves this problem. Individual education
      • Personalization (can’t standardize, we must customize)
      • Student-Created Content ( - Eric Marcos) 
        • These were all very interesting things to talk about.  I'm definitely thinking for next year on redesigning my learning space the best that I can and continuing to build up student-created content.  I have only checked out a little bit, so that will be on my to-look list
    • Blank slide b/c “there is no answer!!” 
      • I'm sure a lot of people at #flipcon12 wanted to leave with the easy answer, the checklist, the steps of how to flip their classroom.  But, there is no easy answer, there is no right way.  It starts by the individual teacher asking the question "What is the best use of my face to face in class time with my students" and going from there.
    • Yes... start by making content videos. BUT.. If I’m NOT going to do that in class, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO???

       Heather Witten is a Spanish teacher and one of my "tweeps" (twitter friends).  I wanted to attend her session even though I'm not a FL teacher, and still took a lot from it!  She even gave me a shoutout at the beginning of her session (thanks Heather!) :)

      Here are some things that stood out to me, which is definitely not all inclusive of everything she talked about... (from Heather in bold, from me in italics):
      Heather Witten (@srawitten) - Foreign Language Fun with Flip

        • Benefits of the flip
          • Class can go on even when I’m not there
          • Talk to every kid every day!
          • Identify learning gaps more quickly
          • effectively monitor student progression
            • These are the huge benefits of flipping my classroom as well.  I had to be out of my classroom 20 times this last school year (and NONE were personal days!). It was crazy. But when I was gone, my classes still went on.  Not as great as when I am there and can ask those questions and challenge my students, but still pretty good.
        • Don’t just try to teach more material... give them more practice and application time of what is taught!
          • I think this is a very important key - you can't choose to flip because you want to just cover more material. It won't work that way.
        • Hmmm REQUIRED assignment and SUPPLEMENTAL assignments
          • I like that she gave both to her students.  Later we found out the supplemental ones were for students who needed to retake a test (those then became required).  However, I would really like to have "challenge" assignments for students who are ready to work ahead as well.  Takes time - we'll see how this summer pans out.
        • “Classwork Benchmarks” - DEADLINES
          • I am on the same page as Heather here in that I am still keeping most of my class on the same "schedule" - they can work ahead, but they have to keep up with certain deadlines
        • Triple the amount of time for video length that it takes students to watch it.
          • I would agree with doubling or tripling.  My end of the year survey gave the same results
        • Class structure: Organized Chaos!
          • Need a focusing/starter activity
          • Then “required” assignments
          • Additional “fun” assignments to apply learning
            • Quick conversations - “you have 30 seconds to tell me about your favorite shampoo”
              • I think my "focusing/starter" activity is the WSQ chats we have. Sometimes I'll do a quick recap if I feel it's absolutely necessary, and I'll go over the goals for the day.  Then they get right into their groups!
              • I just came across some stuff on our hard drive from 4 years ago that I never really used - they do come from the textbook publisher, but there are "chapter projects" and "Make a Decision" problems that ask students to apply their knowledge of what they learned.  I need to look at them more closely, but that may be my answer to some of the "mini-PBL" I am looking for.  At least a start!
        • Google Voice!! What a great idea!
          • Record a prompt and once a week students have to call in and respond (1 min response)
            • I love this! I don't know if I could use it in my math class, but I think it's awesome!!!
        • “Ticket to the show” - if you bomb a test, you can have the chance to fix it (we want them to LEARN!) - supplementary assignments that must be completed first
          • I revamped my retake policy this year and students had to fill out an "application" to retake a test.  My retake numbers when down exponentially.  I still need to re-think what I want my policy to be.
        • Teacher Benefits:
          • inclusion of all aspects of language in every unit
            • I can finally TWIRLS in my class!
          • continue learning even when teacher absent
          • students engaged  almost 100% of time
            • There is no time to lean back, sit back, slouch, and space out.
          • identifying learning gaps
          • less reteaching
            • My tutoring hours are going to cut back big time next year, and my husband is going to be happy :)  The students don't need it as much!
          • never have to deal with “what did I miss?”
            • :) wonderful.
        • Student benefits
          • more time to practice [language] - excited about it
          • peer to peer learning, teaching each other!
            • Once students get comfortable with each other, they love it and it is so good for them as well!
          • more time to ask questions (give the nuts and bolts at home, spend class time asking questions)
            • This might be one way I explain the Flipped Class to my students/parents next year. "I'm going to give you the nuts and bolts at home, so that way you can spend class time practicing and asking questions"
          • better and more varied assessments
            • Still a work in progress for me... there are another couple of sessions on assessment I am going to watch when the archives arrive.
        • Student feedback
          • “Whatever you put into it, you get out of it!”
            • This quote from one of Heather's students is so true.  I think it's true in any class, but even more so in the flipped class because I truly believe every student has an equal opportunity to succeed in a flipped class.  In my traditional class, students who were slower learners, shy to ask questions, or who didn't have support at home were at a disadvantage. This evens the playing field a bit.
        • For super-super shy kids - don’t ask the question “do you get it”... ask them “hey, let me see your work” “Hey show me what you’ve done”
        • What are you going to change the most for next year
          • Project-Based Learning (cross-curricular)
          • re-doing the videos to make them better

          end of Mark Siegel's presentation (watch the archive)
          • Only answer question ONCE - after that, that student becomes the expert
          • Structure group more for lowerclassmen than upperclassmen

          Random links


          1. Funny how when you ask students to give comments, sometimes they say just what you wish they would. In so many ways reading these comments on my session are fantastic because I can go back and reflect on everything too! Thanks Crystal.

          2. I tried the required/supplemental thing out this summer. I assessed them with required assignments, then gave them a track to follow. All the assignments were numbered/lettered as "Skill Assignment #" or S1, S5, etc. If they mastered the concept early in the sequence, they moved on to a later S assignment.

            It meant they could be self-paced and had to learn how to manage their time well, but it went really well. And they all had to complete the final skill assignments, regardless of how many they had done in that track.


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