Flipped Classroom or Blended Learning – How Does it Fit into My Classroom/School

Flipping the classroom is somewhat new although variations have been around for years. My fellow NCAIS Master Teacher Josh Thornton has worked on flipping his Math Class with good success. At the Middle School, various math teachers use Khan Academy to help their students. For the most part, it is not true flipping in that often the class comes to the lab during the school day and still do homework away from school and the teacher. I was reading Will Richardson’s blog post today about his upcoming meeting with the founder of Knewton who he will be interviewing on Thursday. On the Knewton, site I found this info-graphic which I thought was worth sharing. I am intrigued by the concept and wonder if we do a digital device, will teachers be willing to flip their classrooms?

I just started a new trimester class and I am amazed at how many students either have their own computer or share a computer with 3 or 4 other children or adults in the house. I do not think flipping will work unless we can make sure that connectivity and access is solved for all of our learners. I do think older students could greatly benefit from it as could our constant push for more time to teach. If all we do is drop a device into the classroom, we will have not done much of anything that is innovative.

I also like with George Couros wrote on the 24th about Technology being more then a tool. Read his post and look at this infographic as it is today and wonder what it will be in 5 years, 10 years? How will my classroom and my teaching adjust? How will yours?

Often the saying, “technology is just a tool”, is said in the context of schools and learning.  I (vaguely) remember writing a similar comment and being challenged regarding that same statement, but since then I have looked at technology in a different way.  Based on the definitions I have read, and the way I see technology (in many cases) being used, it has the power to be so much more than a website, device, or app.  If technology transforms the way we do things, is it “just a tool”?

Blended Learning

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media


Digital Learning Farm, Digital Learning, and NAIS Independent School Magazine

Guide to The Digital Learning Farm Flyer | Langwitches Blog

I mentioned this organizational structure yesterday as a way to reconfigure, if you will, a classroom when everyone is connected.


Also good is the Globally Connected Learning



Digital Learning | The Committed Sardine

The concept of digital learning is also in need of understanding. The image above is from a great post on Fluency21 which is a group of educational thinkers founded by Ian Jukes. Read more about this take on digital learning at http://www.fluency21.com/blogpost.cfm?blogID=2288

How do our classrooms help foster or hinder these skills? If we add a connected digital device either as a part of the school or as an organic BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or perhaps just use what we have students hide, where does our curriculum fit within this framework?

The underlying assumptions are core values and processes that enable digital learning to flourish. They are:

  • relevant and contextual curriculum
  • Assessment that is both challenging and transparent (since this lies in a relevant and contextual curriculum, it is also by definition relevant and contextual)
  • An emphasis of higher order thinking skills (analysis and evaluation – creativity is a core aspect of digital learning)
  • Valuing student voice and providing the students with ownership of their learning and assessment.

The author, Andrew Churches works with the Info Savvy Group and focuses on Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT). His bio quote is: “This is about ICT and education. Thoughts & reflections on integrating ICT in the classroom and across the school. I am the Curriculum Manager for ICT and contributor to the infosavvy group. To make a difference we have to change our pedagogy, How we teach, why we teach.”

The above article is from his blog at http://edorigami.edublogs.org Also check out the Edorigami Wiki for a wealth of information.

Independent School Magazine  Fall 2011  Evolution or Revolution

The NAIS Independent School magazine has great articles about change and other issues confronting Independent Schools. In the Fall 2011 Volume 71 number 1 issue Meredith Stewart from Cary Academy and formerly Durham Academy writes with her students about Learning Differently – and Deeply. The entire site is a wealth of resources for all of us in our search for answers to the questions facing our schools and our teaching profession.

Listening and Teaching


listen closely‘ 

I read a blog post this summer from Steve Goldberg about this TEDx talk and added it as a favorite to my list of talks to listen to when I reconnected to the Internet. In addition, I finally purchased a set of hearing aids after going years asking my students and grandchildren to repeat what they said as my mild to moderate loss impacted me the most in these situations. Getting older and needing equipment to restore what I used to have naturally is all part of the process. I got my hearing aids at Costco and have been very happy.


With the equipment installed, I now am working on my intention and listening practice. I suggest that we all try to do a little bit better as our students and children/grandchildren have a lot that they are saying.

5 ways to listen better


4 Ways sound affects us

Innovation and Learning Cohort – Chapter 1 Word Cloud

This school year I am co-leading an Innovation and Learning Cohort of 19 teachers at Durham Academy who are reading The New Culture of Learning by David Thomas and John Seely Brown. I shared this post there today and wanted to add it to my blog as I am excited to be undertaking this learning and discussion with fellow teachers. We are blogging at http://labs.da.org/wordpress/dailc/ where you are welcome to follow along or leave a comment.


Thought it might be interesting to take all of our comments about Chapter 1 – The Arc of Learning and paste them into a Wordle to make a word cloud. The larger the word, the more times it is used in all of the comments. Good to know words like students, learning, kids, think, learn, curious, and read play such a role. I think we need to stop using my name so much though as it is used more then school!  I will add this to our VoiceThread, because, that is what I do:)

As part of our cohort we plan to hook-up with Page Lennig’s group at Wyanflete School later this year. Her school is doing a cohort that is similar and is reading the same book. I was at her group’s site and saw she had linked to this video so I thought our cohort should read it as well. I like this video as it features a message that resonates with me and my teaching as well as featuring fellow educators whom I have visited with or followed online for years. As part of my “collective” al of you continue to shape my teaching and learning. Thanks and I hope I add to yours.

Watch the full episode. See more Digital Media – New Learners Of The 21st Century.

Learning in a Networked World – Will Richardson’s Message to Durham Academy

Networked Teacher

‘NetworkedTeacher’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035553780@N01/344832591

Today almost seems like a dream. Will Richardson is in our school talking to most of our faculty. The Middle School will be watching a movie we are creating as they are having Olweus training.  I have wanted this to happen for the last five years but wondered if we were up to the discussion as a school. I was thrilled when Lee Hark, Upper School Director, asked me last year for a list of speakers as he was looking for someone to kick off our school year. Faculty are participating in a back channel provided by Will where our faculty are able to discuss what he is saying. This is a whole day event that will challenge us to engage in a conversation that will help us answer the big questions facing our school and students.

I plan to weave the challenges he is into our Innovation and Learning Cohort that is discussing the book: The New Culture of Learning by David Thomas and John Seely Brown.

Bravo and thanks to Durham Academy for being willing to discuss these challenges.

His presentation is at this link.