Posts Tagged ‘education’

Upside Down is Becoming Right Side Up

March 20, 2012 Leave a comment

I was honored to contribute an article in the new book, Quick Hits for Teaching with Technology: Successful Strategies by Award Winning Teachers. My article is about the inverted hybrid science classroom. I have been working on the ideal inverted hybrid classroom for probably four years now. It started with the simple inverted classroom model of having lecture outside the classroom while the homework and other hands on activities happened in the classroom. I’d like to share with you what I learned in the process some of which would not fit in the article.



The “Lecture” Concept

Let’s face it, most of us went to college and were lectured to. The only other way to gain information was from the text or a trip to the library. I guess you could get some information from the TV but not like today. We wrote notes as fast as we could and highlighted and wrote in our texts. (although my mother being a librarian kind of turned me off writing in a book.) So that is how we began our teaching careers, with a lecture. My area is physics so I combined my college notes, some of my own new notes and made some master notes that have been my teaching bible for years. After all, introductory physics doesn’t change at a rapid pace. But as more and more media came available, I realized that a video or animation was worth at least 1000 words. I also had the desire to create my own media. And I kept hearing the same old complaint: “I couldn’t do my homework so I gave up, can you go over it in class?” I always found myself behind. Some students said I lectured too fast and some said I went too slow. I had to find a better way…

The New “Lecture”

I searched and researched to find the best software to create my online “lectures”. It had to be something that was fairly easy and quick and would work with slow internet connections. It also had to be ADA compliant and have interactive capabilities. I settled on Articulate Presenter. It really fit the bill. I could start with the PowerPoints that I already had in many cases and add narration. It allowed for animation and adding web content. I could also put some practice quizzes at the end. PERFECT!

The students responded well to them…if they bothered watching them. I discovered there was no real incentive for them to do that. So I added clicker (Turning Technologies student response system) quizzes in class. Clickers allowed for me to see if they watched the lectures and to test them on the major concepts. They were allowed to use any notes they took while watching the presentations. They started taking voluminous notes! It took 5-10 minutes for the quiz to be sure they watched the presentations. I then had instant results that could then inform a short review.

Now class time is devoted to “homework”. That’s right homework. The students are in groups and work together to solve various problems. I am there if a group gets stuck but they work together first. They click in when their group agrees on an answer. This is anonymous so I can see the group’s answer but no one group looks bad. We then discuss the correct way to do the problem and move on. The students are so much more calm about facing the problems and they have immediate help to get over a tough spot rather than getting too frustrated.

The students don’t need me to be there to talk AT them. The students need me to help them learn problem solving skills and apply what is in the book and in my “lectures”. That allows me to really teach and guide them to be the best they can be.



A Day in the Life of My Ipad

January 10, 2012 3 comments

I have been debating what to put in my first post of the year. I have started 2 other posts but I have settled on this one. I thought I would take you through a day in the life of my iPad. I myself am surprised at how much I use it. I know many of my colleagues have an iPad but I never see them with it. I just don’t get it. I can’t live without mine. The iPad combined with a Kensington blue tooth keyboard is all I need.  I will warn you that I might have taken some writer’s license and combined a couple of days. But you will get the idea. While I use the iPad, I have an android phone and Windows 7 computers. I manage to have them all get along quit nicely.

Ipad in with bluetooth keyboard

7:00 am
Time to get to up. While I eat my cereal and watch the Today show, I  do a quick run through my e-mail on my iPad  to primarily delete spam. I also answer any pressing student or faculty issues.  I  take a quick turn on Words with Friends as well.

8:30 am
On the way to work I use AudioMemos to record my thoughts on an upcoming meeting. The app only records when I am talking and I can set it to ignore ambient noise. Later I can listen to my ideas and type them up in an outline.

10:10 am
Time for my class. I use TeacherPal to take attendance in my class. I can just click on their pictures and record if they are present, absent or late. I then bring up my text book  in CourseSmart so I have it to refer to for problems. I use the classroom computer for the Eno Board to record classroom notes.

11:15 am
Just got a pdf that I am supposed to print out, fill in, sign, and snail mail back. (seriously?)  I print it out, fill it in and use DocScan HD on my iPad to take a picture of it which is essentially scanning it, and I e-mail it back to the sender. I do not leave my chair.

12:30 pm
Off to a meeting. I use Drop Box to pull up the agenda that was sent to me earlier. I use Evernote to take meeting notes. When I am done, a couple clicks and I e-mail the notes to the entire group. I also look at some e-mail during the meeting and answer a couple of people with technical issues. I  look up something on the Internet that the group had a question about.

2:00 pm
At another meeting. This time I use my iPad to audio record the entire meeting. After the meeting, I send the recording  off to another person to post on the group’s website.

3:30 pm
A student sent me a question about a physics problem they were having trouble with. I use Explain Everything to record my voice and write out some hints for the solution. I can send that back to the student with a couple clicks. It appears to them as a short movie.

4:30 pm
Off to the YMCA for my workout. I use the web based workout input web site to put in my workout. During the cardio portion of my workout, I watch full episodes of DIY shows from their app.

6:00 pm
Home  and planning a tile job for the kitchen. I take some measurements but I don’t want to put them on some scrap piece of paper that I might lose. So I use Skitch on the iPad and write out my calculations. I then save that to Evernote. Now it is available on my Ipad, and phone when I go to the tile store.

7:30 pm
Time to catch up on the information of the day. I start with Flipbook on the iPad. I can quickly look over my Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader and other feeds I like to follow. It is displayed in a nice magazine type format. Then I go to Zite. Zite allows me to input topics and areas of interest and chooses articles for me to read in a newspaper like format. If I like an article, it learns what I like and gives me more of the same. In both of these apps, I can easily e-mail or retweet any of the articles I want  to my colleagues and friends.

10:00 pm
Off to bed…after another turn on Words with Friends. Better charge up  the iPad for another busy day tomorrow!

What great apps and ways do you use your Ipad? Leave suggestions in the comments!