Friday, March 23, 2012

Flip and Blend

Hi Edu 422 group,  

Pape, Sheehan, and Worrell understand teachers, now more than ever, need to find ways to “save time and money in the classroom while increasing student engagement and digital age competencies.” How to Do More with Less: Lessons from Online Learning lists sample projects and the story of a newbie teacher who is experimenting with flipping her classroom to a blended model of instruction and technology.  

This persuasive and informative article aims at new and veteran teachers. The authors make their point with examples and links to resources. The topic of technology in the classroom is current and relevant to all teachers. Additionally, all teachers are looking for ways to “do more with less.” I know teachers who have been teaching for 10 or more years. When we talk about what I’m learning in my Education 422 Teaching and Technology class from articles like this, they are interested but don’t know how to go about flipping or blending their classrooms. They want to know how. How to Do More with Less points readers to dozens of free, web-based tools and resources available and in use in classrooms, for example: Moodle, VoiceThread, LiveBinder, Photovisi, and My Fake Wall. The authors reach their audience with tools and details for practical use.  

I wish this article, and more of the technology in the classroom articles and topics, would address some of teachers’ biggest concerns: student cheating/plagiarism, privacy, district buy-in, and student technology requirements at home and in the classroom. The technology articles trend leans towards “how to” access programs, tools and resources without taking a step back and giving teachers a “how to” gain buy-in from their principals, parents, and students. Also, how to provide technology access to all students is a huge barrier. When articles don’t address this part of the flipped and blended equation the credibility and possibility of a veteran or new teacher standing up and try something new is decreased.

I want to read articles about how new and veteran teachers can flip and blend not just their classrooms, but their schools. How do I find schools that support technology in the classroom? Regardless, I’m interested in trying out all of the tools and visiting the sites I haven’t heard of like Edmoto, ToonDoo, and more, which sound great and useful for teachers and students to collaborate.  

I’m excited by the teaching potential for “using digital content, resources, and tools to enhance, extend, and transform the learning process” so that students “use their time at home to become familiar with content instead of doing homework, and use their classroom time to actively engage with other students and their teachers to think critically and apply knowledge to real-world problems, group projects, lab work, or classroom discussions.”

In conclusion, flipping “the traditional homework model on its head” to free class time for teachers to “develop digital age literacies” due to “the sheer number and easy accessibility of these tools and resources” is inspiring. How to Do More with Less is part of the equation for solving real-world issues for teachers.

How to Do More with Less meets NETS for students standard 3. Research and Information Fluency. How to Do More with Less provides tools for students to apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. With the numerous tools and project samples to draw from, students may locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information from a variety of sources and media, based on the appropriateness to specific tasks. Blogs, wikis, social networking and bookmarking tools, and virtual learning environments support NETS standard 3.  

APA Reference

Pape L., Sheehan T., and Worrell C. (March/April 2012). How to Do More with Less: Lessons from Online Learning. Learning & Leading with Technology. Retrieved from

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