Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (#flipblogs)

--Originally published at Flipping With Joy

This is my eighth entry in Andrew Swan's 20-over-30 September #flipblogs challenge. See my first entry here for some context and a little more information about the challenge.

I can't write an essay right now, but I have several points to capture and I just have to get this down:
Some things that happened yesterday:
I told my two classes of grade 9 students a little more about what flipped learning is, and why I want to use it with them.
I followed the example of Matthew Moore to introduce these classes to watching a video to develop a skill rather than just for entertainment: I had the students try to follow an instructional video taking them through the creation of a pretty paper butterfly, and I told them that if they had any requests during the video to raise their hands and let me know. They were not great at raising their hands, but we did figure out that pausing and restarting the video from various points was a good strategy. In our discussion after the video, the two classes and I came up with this combined list of good things to keep in mind for optimal learning from a video:
  • Pay attention! Ignore phone notifications/etc. (or turn it off for the 10 minutes or so)
  • Stop & replay...as often as needed.
  • Don’t compare view speeds. (It’s okay if your friend understands one of the videos more quickly than you do.)
  • Change the video play speed if needed! (Use YouTube’s options to make it sped up or slow down.)
  • If helpful and available, make use of subtitles/captions
  • Allow enough time for you to go through it! (A 5-minute video may take longer than 5 minutes to learn from, so don’t try to get by watching it 5 minutes before class begins.)
  • Mute it? (if it has annoying background music/etc., if it doesn’t have spoken words or if it’s captioned and you prefer to read the captions)
One of my students immediately created at least two more butterflies after the first one and told me I'd created a monster!
I had a meeting with my principal and two of our vice principals to discuss options for offering our teachers some professional development in flipped learning. Our school is moving to a model of having PLCs (professional learning communities...or committees) that are proposed by our teachers rather than by administration, and as long as there is interest, it looks like I will be running a PLC for teachers who want to try flipping their classes (or at least explore flipping a lesson or two). The minimum number of teachers required for our PLCs is three; can I find at least two other teachers in the school willing to commit their PLC time to exploring the flip?
I got my new recording space set up! (And the room is not as hot as Mt. Doom like so many other spaces in the building right now!) I want to bring my backdrop back in, and I'll bring the light panels and stands in just in case, but so far so good!


I recorded a video! No one walked in while I recorded! No noise from other spaces interfered! And I did it in one, 12-minute take! (The final video is not 12 minutes long...it was one take, but that included a couple of small "oopses" that I've now edited out.)
During our meeting, I mentioned to my admin team that a school I'd visited had a recording room set up for its teachers who used flipped learning. They immediately suggested a room that may work for that, if my PLC puts forward a proposal and gets it approved. Guess what, admin: you read my mind. I'd been truly hoping for a while that that particular room could be made available as a part-time recording studio, so kudos to you for catching the vision.
This morning I've edited the video and figured out how to caption it for the sake of at least my student who is hard of hearing (thankfully this is super easy with Camtasia). It's uploading now.
So here's hoping that I'll get some interest in the PLC, that it will be helpful to both staff and (indirectly) students, that I'll manage well the workload of running it, and that it doesn't blow up in my face :). This is in part what I signed up for the FLGI International Faculty to do; it's time to put my integrity where my mouth is and run with it. To be frank, it's a little overwhelming, in a happy but somewhat scary way. Thankfully, I have a supportive admin team behind me, and I know the #flipclass community worldwide will be a great source of support and insight, too.
Here we go!

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