ISTE 2013 Presenter Profile: Graham Johnson

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?

In the weeks leading up to the event, we’ll be sharing presenter profiles, like the one below, to help you get better acquainted with the people who will be presenting at the TechSmith booth. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any updates, and check our archives for past profiles if you’re just now joining us.

Presenter Profile Number 3: Graham Johnson

Graham is a high school math educator from Okanagan Mission Secondary in Kelowna, BC, Canada. He has a B.Sc. in Mathematics from Coppin State University, a B.Ed. from the University of British Columbia, and a M.A. in Educational Technology from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Graham is in his sixth year of teaching and has been using the Flipped Classroom teaching technique for the past two years. The Flipped Classroom has helped Graham move the focus of his classes towards students getting their hands dirty with the math content rather than just watching and listening to it. He is known as one of the first educators in Canada to flip his classes and is the organizer of CanFlip which is a conference focused on the Flipped Classroom. This past spring Graham recently finished writing his Master’s thesis titled ‘Student Perceptions of the Flipped Classroom.’

Interactivity – The Future of Flipped Classroom Video

Wouldn’t it be great if you could ask comprehension questions within your videos? How about customizing your lessons, and quizzing? Math teacher Graham Johnson will show how you can add interactivity to videos with Camtasia to create an active learning experience. Watch him demonstrate how to use interactivity to differentiate videos to meet the diverse needs of learners in a process he calls “flow-chart video creation.” With this process you can take flipped video lessons to the next level in learner engagement and accountability.

Can’t see the video? Watch it on YouTube!

Watch this presentation

Monday: 11:00AM, 2:30PM

Tuesday: 12:00PM, 3:30PM

Wednesday: 10:30AM

An Interview with Graham

What was the tipping point that made you decide to flip your class?

There were two main factors that contributed to my decision to flip my classes. I was noticing that a significant amount of my students were missing classes for family vacations, schools functions, and other extra-curricular activities. Students were missing my in-class lectures and the notes I was giving them were just not getting the job done. I just couldn’t get my head around how I could meet the needs of all my students when so many of them were absent from school. In addition, I was frustrated with the amount of knowledge students were able to retain from my hour long lecture. I realized I was the one doing all of the work in the class while my students were passive observers. I wanted my class to be more engaging and hands-on for my students. Each of these factors led me to investigate and implement the Flipped Classroom.

What inspired your move toward ‘flow-chart video creation’?

My students! Over the last year I conducted research for my Master’s thesis examining students’ perceptions of the Flipped Classroom. One of the recommendations my students made was to make the videos more personal and be able to differentiate the experience – two aspects that I worked hard to implement in other areas of my classroom. Once I discovered that I could use Camtasia to add interactive elements to my videos I was off to the race creating videos with a focus on meeting each of my students’ needs.

What has been the response of parents and students?

At the beginning of this school year I made an interactive video for my students’ parents informing them about what the year would look like in my Flipped Classroom. Rather than asking them to watch a 10-15 minute video I added buttons to the video which gave parents the opportunity to watch what they wanted to learn more about. The feedback I heard from that one video was tremendous and has helped pave the way for the school year.

Can’t see the embedded video? Watch on!

The first interactive instructional video I made with the flow-chart framework was also a hit with my students. They liked how they could tailor their own viewing and learning experience based on how they interacted with various aspect of the video. Students reported that they felt more engaged because of the interactive video elements.

Do you have any favorite flipped classroom tools/equipment?

The combination of my convertible tablet PC and Camtasia 8 have proved a winning combination for me. Annotating documents is a must for a Flipped Classroom math teacher, and I love being able to simply write on my screen and record everything I do. I made my original Flipped Classroom videos with Camtasia 7 which got the job done but Camtasia 8 has opened so many doors because of the editing and interactive features it has. I also use the Samson Go microphone which provides crisp audio and is nice and small if I need to take it on the road. It is a pretty simple setup but it does the trick!

What challenges have you had to overcome?

There were two major challenges moving from a traditional lecture based teacher to a Flipped Classroom teacher. The first challenge was determining how I was going to use my additional face-to-face time with my students. I normally lectured for the majority of the class but now that the lecture portion of the class was taken care of, I had time on my side. As a math teacher I had never used many hands-on learning activities so coming up with activities that enhanced student learning rather than just doing questions from the text became my focus. I also struggled with teaching my students to take responsibility for the learning. I wanted students to learn to self-pace themselves and use their classroom time as they best saw fit. Students have had their hands held for much of their educational years, and some found it difficult making decisions about how to use their time in the most effective and efficient way.