‘Atlas, it’s time for your bath’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/73645804@N00/440672445
I read Sarah Hanawald’s post on why are we teaching this stuff and was intrigued. I am in my second rotation of my new Digital Learning class for 5th graders. I calculated how many minutes of face time I have with them to be 1,806 minutes. That is based on meeting 5 times in a rotation of 7 days. The last rotation is just 2 days. There are 9 rotations to a trimester. On average, classes meet for 43 minutes. All of this added up gives me 1,806 minutes of face time or what I have thought of as instructional time. Why do I look at it this way? Is it habit as I my class flows with the others being offered. Is it because I am afraid to try something new? Is it because students have different tools at home and I cannot trouble shoot the issues? Is it because it takes less time to do it the way I am familiar with teaching? I am sure it is a bit of all of these things since I am a human being. Is it the best way to deliver the content to my students by using only the 1,806 minutes allotted by the schedule? Clearly it will not work much longer as I am painfully aware of all that I am not able to teach or expose my students to since the clock is ticking on these 1,806 minutes. I am working on devising the curriculum, projects, and other aspects of the Digital Learning class for 6th graders as I want to adjust it for the older students. How can I maximize the time best and still not burden them with outside work or homework?
There is no way that I can cover all of the topics and skills, nor can I address all of the literacy needs in the 1,806 minutes. What do I cull from the list? How do I help my students be both learners and active instructors in the coursework? I read Jonathan Martin’s post about Reverse Instruction. Perhaps that is the solution or at least a part of it. Could my students create tutorials as part of learning tools? How would that change the nature of the course? Would the work overload their schedule? Lastly, like Sarah mentions, what would happen if I gave my students 5% (90 minutes), 10% (180 minutes) or even 20% (360 minutes) of the class time to create or follow their interests and create learning objects for the class? Would their intrinsic motivation be enough? It might be worth trying a Flip in my 6th grade class. Stacey Roshan has even more flipping going on.
I have thought more about how to flip my class around and wonder if it would be worth the time and effort as I teach a course that has a short life span. Tools I teach with today will for sure evolve or go away in a few years. Here is what I mean. I used to teach HyperStudio to teachers from around the state as well as students. While the program still exists, I no longer use it. I need to focus on flipping the broader skills and not the finite skills of how to use the File Menu of software X. The skills of telling a story are as vital as the many other skills that go into using any one piece of software, and have a longer shelf life. I think what I need to flip is telling helping students to tell the story of what they are learning instead of how to use software X. Of course, blended into all of this will be digital literacy skills but not tool skills. Last week I asked a student Kit M. (who I have blogged about earlier) how she learned to make movies. She told me how her brother is into extreme sports and she became the videographer. She then needed to edit the movies so she taught herself iMovie and then Final Cut Express. When I asked who taught her Final Cut, she looked at me, you know the look I am talking about. Uh, no one I taught myself. Exactly my point. I also read a great post from the Electric Educator on flipping your classroom.
Today I got this video link from my director. It shows how Duke is flipping, and I mean flipping.
By the way, if you are interested Jonathan will be the Keynote Speaker at NCAIS INNOVATE 2011 http://ncaisinnovate11.wordpress.com/
The North Carolina Association of Independent Schools Commission on Technology is pleased to announce:
NCAIS INNOVATE 2011: Thursday, April 7th and Friday, April 8th 2011 at Saint Mary’s School (Raleigh, NC)
Keynote Speaker: Jonathan E. Martin, Head of School, St. Gregory School, Tucson, AZ | “Innovative Schools make for Innovative Students”
An independent school head since 1996, Jonathan holds degrees from Harvard University (BA); Starr King School for the Ministry (M.Div., Unitarian ministry); and the University of San Francisco School of Education. He is a member of the board, and Program & Professional Development Chair, of the Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISAS). A prolific blogger, Jonathan contributes to his personal blog, http://21k12blog.net/ 21k12 as well as for http://www.connectedprincipals.com/ Connected Principals and the http://www.thedailyriff.com/ Daily Riff. Jonathan has presented on 21st century learning for the Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISAS) Heads, the Arizona Association of Independent Schools (AAIS), and at many Rotary Clubs in Arizona and California. He has upcoming presentations on 21st century learning at the US Department of Education’s ONPE Annual Private School Leadership Conference and the Annual Conference of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).