The International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments recently published a special issue focused on flipped learning. I had the opportunity to interview the authors of one of the articles included in the edition. In this episode of Talking Ed.Lenie George and T.J. Kopcha discuss their experiences with flipped learning and share some of the findings from their research.
Over at Daily Genius, Jeff Dunn shares a good primer about this topic. In it he shares that “flipped learning is more than just having students do homework during the school day. It’s more than just putting the onus on students to teach themselves. In fact, it’s neither of those things. Don’t be fooled by simple explanations of flipped classrooms that simplify a highly complex undertaking” (Source).
Yesterday I had the opportunity to take one of my graduate classes on a tour of new 3D Printing Lab in the University of Memphis Library. We received training in computer-aided design (CAD) and use of the 3D printer, and had the opportunity to see it in action. Our conversation about integrating 3D printers with learning was packed with ideas and I left feeling energized. Additional educational uses have been popping into my mind since.
The following video and photos showcase some of the various projects that were printed. The Memphis skyline is my favorite and look even more impressive in-person.
The following album offers snapshots and captions of our tour.
What experiences have you had with 3D printing?
Can you see potential ways to connect 3D printing with learning?
“That time in the shop saved my life. Putting aside the anxiety and worry for an hour or two, while I worked on a project or took a class at TechShop, could always turn my mood around, or at minimum kept me distracted enough to do something productive. The patience of the teachers and the encouragement of others around the shop was my lifeline. Eventually, that became the new normal. It still is. Just keep going: moving forward, working on the next thing, and helping as many other people as possible.”
“This is about us. And and our students. And how we’re learning together. And also, it’s about the power of technology…Our job [as educators] is to expand horizons, to open doors, to blow minds. We achieve this by working together, by reaching out, by computing and counting and crafting, by being creative, by meeting our challenges head on and never shirking from a fight. It’s what we do everyday. We help students light the spark that expands that portion of the universe for which they are responsible — their own minds. We build on what’s already there. We collaborate. We listen. We learn. We teach our students to listen for themselves, so that they can become the teachers and we the students. And we use technology as one tool in our toolbox to help us communicate, to help us work together. This technology isn’t an add-on…[It] is often the fastest, most immediate, and most effective way that we can speak to our students in a way they’ll hear us, in a way that sparks their imaginations, in a way that helps flip the learning process…” (Source).
“John Danner has built seven “Rocketship” charter schools, whose model has produced results at or above average in low-income neighborhood by using technology, community engagement, and teaching coaches. Special correspondent John Merrow profiles the California program, which aims to mass-produce quality schools” (Source).
Keeping up with the state of technology is not easy. New social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest continue to emerge and users sign-up and setup profiles without considering the full ramifications of sharing personal information. Practical tips for helping you and your students thoughtfully setup and maintain your online identities will be shared.
The Floating University is a new educational media venture that creates and distributes online multimedia curricula, rich in text, video, animation and graphics, that feature today’s biggest thinkers, practitioners and leading scholars.
Their video lectures “are paired with related texts to introduce complex multidisciplinary subjects in an entertaining and engaging way. Whether you’re a life long learner or a current university student, [their] goal is to take you on a journey of discovery into myriad disciplines — to let you explore unfamiliar territory in a new light — and to pose questions that will encourage critical thinking and robust debate.
For schools, they “aim to invert the traditional lecture model of learning to focus valuable classroom time on interaction, exchange, and discussion, rather than on the passive consumption of live, in-person lectures” (Source).
The Floating University launched last fall with an online course offered at Harvard, Yale and Bard and delivered the key takeaways of an entire undergraduate education. Learn more in this short video.
Disrupting Education: There Are No Boundaries to Knowledge Anymore
This clip/commercial has really gotten in my head. I keep thinking about the juxtaposition of traditional education, innovation, reform, media and technology that this represents. I see this as a sort of a microcosm of what so many of us are talking about and involved in education. In this clip we see a disruptive innovation, online and/or hybrid learning, and some would argue that the classroom has been flipped. I see connections between this delivery platform and the notion that some have that failing schools would improve if they had access to the best teachers. In higher education reports indicate that more and more students are preferring the perceived flexibility of online courses and institutions are strategically planning how they intend to respond.
I’m also really curious to see how interactive and engaging the courses are and how effective they are at promoting creativity and critical thinking. These terms are used frequently on the site and in this video. I also noticed on the website that everything is optimized for use on the iPad which could open the door for interesting opportunities related to engagement. However, I often see teachers, schools, and institutions make similar claims under the pervasive but misguided notion that the very act of using technology makes instruction more effective and more engaging while automatically promoting higher levels of thinking. That just isn’t accurate. Given the reputations of the universities and lecturers involved as well as the feature-rich and content-rich Floating University and Big Think websites I’m going to speculate that they are doing at least a respectable job, and perhaps even better, in these areas. I would enjoy the opportunity to view and experience the Floating University’s courses for myself. The idea of “robust debate” in an online class sounds like fun to me!
Change is in the air. I wonder how all of this will play out over the next few years and subsequent decades. We’ll we resolve these matters or will they have to be solved by the next generation(s) of educators? Perhaps you’ll share your reactions to the the Floating University and to some of the thoughts I have shared.
The following is an excerpt from an article by Marie Bjerede on O’Reilly Radar. It spotlights a few educational innovations that continue to gain traction.
The “DIY ethic is now seeping into one of the most locked-down social institutions in existence: education. Educators, parents, technologists, students, and others have begun looking at the components, subassemblies, assemblies and specifications of excellent education and are finding ways to improve, reimagine, and reinvent learning at every level…In every way, they are looking at the components of teaching and learning, and finding ways to re-create them to be more efficient; more effective; and, critically, more modular.” (Source)
The following are few terms that are included within the article. Regardless of your philosophical leanings it is important that we are aware of current trends and innovations within education. Take a few moments to make sure you are familiar with their meanings.
Bierede concludes, “In a pretty fundamental way, DIY is intrinsically about owning your learning as well as your hardware. No wonder there is a growing movement to open it up, void the warranty, and tinker. What will you make of it?” (Source)