ISTE 2013 Presenter Profiles: Steve Kelly

We’re SO excited for ISTE 2013! The TechSmith Academic Solutions 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 1: Steve Kelly

Steve Kelly () is a National Board Certified Teacher of secondary mathematics at St. Louis High School in St. Louis, Michigan. Steve has been engrossed in learning how to modernize his classroom for the past three years. He spends much of his time collaborating with other teachers to create new courses for students using the flip class model. He is very passionate about creating learning centered environments that actively engage all students.

Remember his guest post from September 2012?

You Can Teach an Old Teacher New Tricks

You’d like to use technology in your classroom, but why not stick with the chalkboard? Join Steve Kelly as he takes you on a journey to become a modern educator. Hear why and how he decided to make drastic changes in his teaching methods and how you can make these change to benefit your class.  Learn from a reformed traditionalist how to use Camtasia to collaboratively flip your classes, as well as a new way of thinking about modern education

Watch this presentation

Monday: 12:00PM, 3:30PM
Tuesday: 10:00AM, 2:00PM
Wednesday: 11:30AM

An Interview with Steve

What was the most difficult part in the process of adopting the flipped classroom model?
As a veteran teacher, it is difficult to give up some of the control in the classroom. The flip class allows us to change to a much more student-centered environment moving the teacher from being the authority figure in the classroom to more of an academic coach leading the way to learning. I also have a minor problem with my new found popularity. My instructional screencasts are cool enough to make me a movie star at school. I am having a little trouble with all of the attention I am getting from my stardom.

Do you have any favorite resources for learning more about modern education?
I heart all of my nerdy Education friends on Twitter. Social networking has allowed us to break down many of the barriers in education so we can share our best practices. We can have On-Demand Professional Development from people we are motivated by on a daily basis. I would also like to recognize all of my friends at the flipped learning network. I use the flipped learning network as my motivation as well as an enormous wealth of educational knowledge on flipping my classes.

How do you make sure your educational materials are as accessible as possible for your students?
This was a huge concern for me when I first decided to flip my classes, but it has been solved with a few simple solutions. All of my instructional videos are available on for online streaming or easy downloads. In my Algebra II classes, I also make DVD’s of each unit of study available for students that may not have high speed internet available outside of school.

What is the biggest benefit you’ve seen for your students since you started flipping your classroom?
DIFFERENTIATION!!! My algebra II students are given a much more differentiated approach to learning than any class I have taught. Students are allowed to work at their own pace with mastery of each topic determined by the instructor. This freedom has helped all of my students to take on ownership of their learning. My pre-calculus students, on the other hand, are all moving at a teacher prescribed pace, but differentiation is allowed to run rampant at the end of each unit of study. Students are given time to research and create new projects to share their love of any topic in mathematics. The flipped classroom and differentiation has allowed for individualized student instruction and motivation.

How does your collaborative flip work?
One of the best teachers I have had the pleasure of being associated with is Mr. Zach Cresswell of Mt. Pleasant High School. Zach called me in the summer of 2012 to talk about some issues he was worried about as a second year teacher and educational history as we know it was changed after our first conversation. We decided to attempt to recreate the teaching of pre-calculus from the bottom up using the flip class model as a back bone for change. We have tried our best to incorporate problem based, inquiry based, discovery based, and direct instructionally based learning throughout the process. We create everything for our classes together. This includes all of our screencasting videos, video story problems, in-class activities, and differentiated assignments.

What do you think is next in the evolution of teaching?
I wish I could give you an answer that would motivate the educational systems in the USA to want to make drastic changes to meet the needs of the creative generation, but I don’t think we know what it is as of yet. I truly believe we are in a turbulent-transition period in education where we can’t figure out how to properly adjust between standardized testing and individualized instruction. The pendulum is going to continue to swing out of control until the key players in the game (Students, Teachers, and Parents) take control of the future of eduction. When we decide that eduction truly is the future of our nation, then we will change to meet the needs of the modern world.