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Beware the Iconography Trap of Personalized Learning: Rigor Matters

Education Next – Betheny Gross

“My colleague and I recently visited a middle school science classroom. Students, outfitted with safety glasses, were organized into groups of three to four. The room was lively but not disorderly as each group worked on its own experiment. As we walked the perimeter of the room, we saw many of the hallmarks of a personalized learning (PL) classroom: small groups worked independently, each worked on an activity that they had chosen, the teacher engaged with small groups of students. But when I asked a group of students about their project, I learned that their task was to mimic the rising and setting of the sun using a light bulb and tray of sand. They were asked to compare the temperature of a tray of sand with the light bulb turned on or off and consider the implications for the surface temperature of the earth. These students knew exactly how this experiment would pan out before they even started.”(more)

3 ways the flipped classroom leads to better subject mastery

E-School News – Aaron Sams and Justin Aglio

“Now that the buzz about flipped learning is calming and the novelty is wearing off, the time has come to dig a little deeper into the natural outcomes of flipping. Specifically, flipping can change the type of work students complete and the way in which class time will be used; it can modify the nature of assessment, and it can alter the way in which teachers will report student work. First and foremost, we should define some terms. On the most basic level, flipped learning occurs when instructors make use of video lectures outside the class in order to bring what was being done in the homework space back into the classroom. In short: lecture at home, homework in class. Much of the conversation about flipping has focused on using teacher-created video as an instructional tool, but the real benefit of flipping the classroom does not come from video. The true benefit comes from using videos as a teaching tool to deliver direct instruction at home so teachers are free to reinvent classroom time.”(more)

Flipped classrooms turning STEM education upside down

Penn State University – Jennifer Matthews

“Given the difficult-to-digest subject matter in many STEM classrooms, educators have customarily relied on traditional lecture-based educational methods where they spend class time walking through content and then assign homework problems to supplement that learning. Liberal arts classrooms, on the other hand, often invert that structure. They task students with learning the material from a book outside the classroom and then turn class time into active discussion periods where they expand and develop what they’ve read.”(more)

‘Flipped classroom’ model lets students leave their homework at school

The Toronto Star – Tara Deschamps

“When some students head back to class this fall, they’ll leave their math homework at school some nights. And no, it won’t be by accident. Rather than grapple with rows of tricky textbook problems, the students will be asked to hit “play” on instructional videos designed to teach math concepts in an engaging way. Working on those problems, which traditionally would have been assigned as homework, will instead fill their in-class time. The arrangement is known as the “flipped classroom,” and it’s gaining traction throughout North America, with some teachers claiming it has increased attendance and graduation numbers, helped to lower failure rates, and improved grades.”(more)

Flipping the classroom together—from 3,000 miles away

E-School News – Bridget McCrea

“Who says you can only use the flipped teaching method in your own class or with other teachers in your school or district? Not Andrew Thomasson and Cheryl Morris, that’s for sure. For the last few years, this enterprising duo has been flipping their English classes, co-moderating a weekly Twitter education chat, presenting at conferences, planning lessons, and collaborating regularly from opposite sides of the country. With Thomasson based in North Carolina and Morris in California, the pair run their own blogs, Morris Flips English and Concerted Chaos, focused mainly on the creation of flipped classroom materials and the application of that content in the K-12 classroom. The pair joined forces in 2012 after Morris, who teaches sixth grade English and History at Del Mar Middle School in Tiburon, Calif., was introduced to the flipped learning concept.” He put five kids through college. So Chilton feels my pain.”(more)

Using flipped learning to boost engagement

E-School News – Laura Devaney

“Supporters of flipped learning have proven that the instructional model is more than just a fad. As it spreads to classrooms across the nation, educators are leveraging the flipped model to create a more personalized and engaging learning environment for their students.” (more)