The 2012 ISTE conference will be taking place June 24-27 in San Diego, CA. We are thrilled to have our customers present their Flipped stories in order to help other educators make the initiative to flip their classrooms. So what exactly will be presented and who will be presenting? Look for upcoming presenter profiles featuring interviews with the presenters themselves.
Brian Bennett is a 10th grade science teacher at South Bend Career Academy. He uses TechSmith products, along with other technologies, to flip his classrooms. By creating video tutorials of class lessons, Brian is able to both teach the material, as well as provide something permanent for the students to refer back to as needed.
Student-Centered Learning: How Flipping Creates Choice for Students
Can you imagine giving high school students the ability to create their own classroom? Brian has done just that by creating a class where choice is king and students have the freedom to work at their own pace. Brian can now encourage and facilitate more relevant, one-to-one learning for his students.
Watch this presentation:
Monday: 9:30AM, 1:00PM
[Download full schedule]
An interview with Brian:
What made you want to switch from the traditional classroom to a flipped one? What needed to be improved?
The traditional classroom is very teacher-centered. I used to teach traditionally- stood up in front of class, lectured, then assigned homework. There were kids that needed more attention and I could not find the time to attend to them during class time. Students were given a problem to tackle at home with no resources to help them along. And most kids are involved in after school activities which made it hard for them to get extra help after school.
How exactly do students create their own classroom? What are some common activities that occur in your classrooms?
My classes look a little different than other flipped classrooms. My approach is that the students need to be learning something, somewhere. I don’t care what it is or where it happens, as long as learning is taking place. So after I go through the training process with the kids, then (usually by second semester) kids come to class knowing the expectations that are set for the end of the week, and they get to structure their time how they think is most efficient in order to meet the end goal.
In one class, I’d have one group of students that would do everything chemistry in class. Another group would watch the videos at home and the next day they’d come back and work on the homework collaboratively. A third group would watch videos and do problems at home and I would do a quick check with them in class, then they’d sit and work on their Spanish together.
What’s the importance in giving students more choices? How does that freedom not end in chaos?
Students don’t feel respected as young adults in traditional classrooms. We just need to rejuvenate the classroom and treat our students the way they deserve to be treated. They know what the expectations are and I’m just here to listen to their feedback and provide as much help as I can. My students know I’m willing to bend backwards for them and they respect that. I always tell them I’ll go 2/3 of the way but you have to meet me that other 3rd and we’ll collaborate and work together.
How does the flipped model impact the way students tackle problems later on in life?
Teaching kids how to use technology to their advantage is important. It helps them build skills that they can apply all over the place.
When students go to college, for example, the professor won’t be sitting next to them helping them with every little thing. They need to learn how to be resourceful. They need to know how to utilize online sources, study groups, etc. And if they don’t go to college, then they need to know how to develop skills on their own using available resources.
How does the flipped model help teachers become better educators?
It forces teachers to really look into things. The education system has been the same for so long that sometimes we forget to stop and examine how well things are working out. Even with the flipped model, we can’t just throw in a video and expect great things; there’s extended training that goes into it, for both teachers and students, in order to see results.
In the end I’ve realized that the traditional way of teaching may have been effective ten years ago but not anymore. The flipped model made me realize that I needed to reevaluate the needs of my students. Each student has different interests and ways of learning and teachers everywhere need to start offering the resources that are relevant to those needs. The flipped model has made me change the way I approach teaching as a whole.
Connect with Brian:
This is a video tutorial that Brian has made for one of his science classes using Camtasia Studio: