Monday, November 14, 2011

Attempt 1 (Classroom Flipping)

It seems Classroom Flipping has turned some heads and rightfully so. How else would you manage to be in two places at once? If anything grabs a teacher's attention, it's the possibility of that!

Thanks to Ms M and Kristen for the feedback. Their comments from my last post raised a very valid point which I had been wrestling with. In a perfect world, we would all have access to all tools and resources but we don't, so we make do with what we have. The students in my school do not have reliable access to the Internet. Many of them do not have a computer in their home so some serious head scratching and problem solving is in order.

I have been considering a few different approaches, mostly around the idea that a video lesson could be used during class time while I support their learning alongside. I am planning to trial them during the last few weeks of school. Today was Attempt 1.

I've read that Thomas Edison once said "I have not failed. I've simply found 10,000 ways that do not work." I really like that because it emphasises, innovation, creativity, effort, commitment, and positivity. I also like it because if I do my calculations right, I only have 9,999 more tries before I am bound to get it right.

Yesterday, I plotted out my first "Flipped" lesson. I scripted, and rehearsed a video lesson that would be all about diamante poems and the parts of speech. After about 8 hours (off and on) of trying to learn how to use Adobe Visual Communicator 3 and getting the wording and timing just so, I was nearly ready to record. Then it happened.

Something looked a little off. What started out looking like a little bit of a lag evolved into a nonresponsive piece of software. What that I thought was a moment where the computer would freeze and then recover with a little patience turned into a message from Adobe citing a "catostrophical error"! I don't know about anyone else, but when a program uses the word catastrophical, I brace for impact. Not many words grab your attention like that one, let me tell you (especially when it comes from the device that has all your planning and digital resources on it).

To make a long story short, the program needs to be reinstalled and this was a trial version that I cannot afford to pay for (I was hoping to talk the school into purchasing the licence) so the 8 hours I spent on my birthday (did I mention that? Yeah, ON MY BIRTHDAY) were lost to the whims of technological failure. Happy birthday.

The downside is obvious; I had wasted hours learning this software and it amounted to nothing useable. I was lucky, though. The fortunate upside was that, due to all the rehearsing, I walked into my classroom today with a better idea of what I needed to say than I have on any other day.

I guess the whole point I'm trying to make is that we all go gaga for technology in the classroom but let this be a cautionary tale that we can't always rely on it. It makes our lives so much easier but putting all of our eggs in that basket carries a risk of error that can be, well, catastrophic.


  1. Happy belated birthday! That definitely is one huge downside to technology and I so get that, I'll spend FOREVER trying to figure out something new.

    I've been really inspired by your post and I'm going to try it using the same program I use for my tutorials on my's called Jing and it's free and you can capture what's on your computer screen. So I thought I could go over how I want certain websites used that way (like Spelling City). I've also dabbled a bit with using the IPEVO camera and Jing, so I can write a math problem and explain it through. I'll be interested to hear how it goes for you...are you trying to tape at school in front of a board or at home? I just really love the idea you mentioned, of being two places at once. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the birthday wish! I'm glad you found my post inspiring; that's such an awesome comment to recieve! I've read your post about the IPEVO camera and am in the process of nagging to get one to try. For now, the recording was being done at home but could totally be done in class as well, similar to a small group setting perhaps.

    I downloaded Jing right away after reading your comment! It's so easy to use so I'm sure it will become part of my repertoire. Thanks for the tip.

    Collaboration, isn't it great?


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