We’re SO excited for ISTE 2013! The TechSmith Education team will be heading down to San Antonio this year for the Annual Conference and Exposition, and we’re eager to hang out with all of our presenter pals at our booth. The four day conference begins on June 23rd and ends on June 26th, focusing on advancing and improving education through the use of technology. Not surprisingly, the whole concept is something that we’re thrilled to be involved in. Will we be seeing you there? This is the last (but certainly not the least!) post in our series of our presenter profiles. I hope you’ve enjoyed having a chance to get a little better acquainted with everyone, and we hope to see you at the booth! Check our archives for past profiles if you’d like to recap or see if you missed anyone.
Presenter Profile Number 6: Kristin Daniels
This isn’t the first time you’ve met Kristin (Follow @KADaniels)! She penned a guest post on our blog about flipped professional development earlier this year. Be sure to check it out! To learn more about Kristin, read on! Kristin has a BA in Psychology from Northwestern University and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from DePaul University. She has been in education since 2000, starting out as an elementary teacher in Chicago. In 2003, Kristin participated in a national pilot program for Earth Science teachers in collaboration with NASA and the JASON Project. She left the classroom in 2006 to work as a Technology Integration Specialist in a private 7-12 school in Minnesota. Kristin also worked as an Expedition Outreach Educator with the Will Steger Foundation and as the Expedition Office Manager of North Pole ‘09, the first unsupported American expedition to the North Pole. Before coming to Stillwater, she worked for St. Paul, MN ISTE affiliate, TIES, as a Education Technology Specialist. Currently she is a Technology and Innovation Coach for Stillwater Area Public Schools where she supports K-6 teachers and implements Flipped Professional Development for teachers. Kristin is a board member of the Flipped Learning Network.
Flipped Professional Development
Discover the power of flipped PD! Learn how you can use video resources for staff communication and teacher professional development. Hear how Stillwater Area Public Schools in Stillwater, MN creates and shares a variety of videos to improve district communication and propel teacher learning. Stillwater’s Technology and Innovation Coaches use video to identify teacher interests and ability, record meeting information and create personalized content. See how you can make professional development more personalized and differentiated in your school district and also serve as an engaging project for students.
Watch this presentation
An Interview with Kristin
How were you introduced to the concept of flipping?
I came across the idea of the flipped classroom early in 2011 but it was my colleague, Wayne Feller, who proposed that we implement an elementary flipped classroom pilot with our teachers in Stillwater, MN. From there, I utilized the resources of the Flipped Classroom Ning site to research the flipped classroom and have wonderful conversations with educators around the country. Wayne and I conducted a 4 day training for our elementary math teachers that summer and then they began flipped math classrooms in the fall. We supported the teachers at every step and expanded the number of flipped classrooms to over 25 in January 2012.
What inspired you to take a second look at the way Professional Development was being managed?
Around the same time that we were developing our Flipped Classroom pilot, Wayne and I had been given an invitation to design and implement a professional development model at one of our elementary schools. After spending a number of weeks thinking about traditional professional development while at the same time building a flipped classroom pilot, we merged the two ideas and came up with Flipped Professional Development. (To clarify, this is not professional development about flipped learning but professional development conducted using a flipped learning model!)
We recognized the challenges of Traditional PD and tried to create a model that would minimize, or eliminate, some of these challenges. For example, our biggest concern was the lack of time that teachers were given to spend on professional learning. So we proposed using a rotating substitute teacher model to relieve our teachers for small group workshop time during the school day. We created a monthly schedule for meeting with teachers, which provided consistency and follow-up.
Also, we knew that teachers needed us most when they wanted to implement a project in their classroom. So instead of spending our time showing teachers how to use various technology tools, we created short video tutorials for this purpose and instead spent our time with teachers working on deeper learning designing projects with appropriate pedagogy and technology tools and based on teacher skill and interest.
How has the flipped class model for PD been received?
Our teachers really appreciate Flipped PD. I think their primary reason is that they are given time to spend with coaches who are personalizing learning. Our role has shifted from specialists who provide technology tips, tricks and ideas, to coaches who support, encourage and guide. Like most learners, our teachers prefer to have personalized, job-embedded coaching available to them over traditional before or after school workshops. We have discovered that our teachers will access our online digital content but the biggest impact we have had is from using more spontaneously created personalized videos. This has changed the way we approach digital content and has allowed us to make even deeper connections with teachers by providing them exactly what they need, when they need it.
In what ways have you benefited by flipping PD? What about the people you’re teaching?
I have definitely changed professionally. My relationships with my teachers have deepened and because of this I am able to provide the personalized support and encouragement that teachers need to be creative and take risks. This is vital to the innovation that our schools desperately need. Innovation is the result of time, space, and resources needed to problem solve. But creativity and risk-taking are crucial in this process and need to be nurtured. The absence of a nurturing coach or professional learning network can leave an educator feeling inadequate and unwilling to grow.
The problem is that the role of the teacher is to model lifelong learning. I truly believe that we are all geniuses. Plato is quoted as saying, “Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” We are all children in this sense and that, when given the right learning environment, we are able to show our true genius. Flipped Learning has the potential to create these environments for every learner!
Can you share a favorite flipped class tool or tip with our readers?
I recently discovered two chrome extensions that enhance the capabilities of Google Apps for Education and work well in a Flipped Learning environment. TextHelp provides text-to-speech with synchronized highlighting right within Google Docs. This means that any document can be read out loud to students; helping to support struggling readers or English Language Learners. TextHelp also includes a picture dictionary. Voice Comments from learn.ly allows users to add audio feedback on Google Docs. This is a great way for teachers to provide authentic and meaningful feedback for student writing.