Gonski 2.0, Independent Learning and the Flipped Classroom

--Originally published at Flipping My Primary Classroom

Ed Note: "Gonski 2.0 has been widely used in the media as a term for the Australian Government’s school funding legislative changes passed on 23 June 2017."What is Gonski 2.0?

Dear Mr Gonski,

You mentioned that student learning ought be personalized in the future. Well I think that’s a great idea. Here’s how we can do it. The Flipped Classroom is a strategy which depends on teachers creating and recording their own lessons for their students. They can do this through a variety of means. They can record themselves in the front of the classroom teaching on a classic white board. Like this:

They can record a lesson using the PowerPoint Mix software (this means just recording voice over a PowerPoint presentation with some animation). Like this:

They can make a video using a light board. Like this:

There are many ways to record a lesson.

The important thing is it is recorded and uploaded to the Internet. This is in order to allow students to access these lessons at any given time, at any given place, at any given pace.  

Why am I talking about this Mr. Gonski?

It’s a good question. Here is the answer.  

If you want to personalize learning for 30 students in one class, and one teacher, you are going to need to use learning videos that have been uploaded to the internet. (One teacher cannot teach 30 different lessons at the same time. Not even the very good ones.)  

What a teacher can do is facilitate the interaction of students with various online lessons pertaining to their specific pertaining to their specific needs at any given time. This is possible. This is feasible.  

And furthermore it’s an example of excellent differentiation.

Mr Gonski -  I would like you to meet the 'Flipped Classroom.' We couldn’t do it a few years back. We didn’t have the Wi-Fi and we didn’t have the devices. But now we do. We just need a little enthusiasm, a little training, and a little open mindedness.

A lot of teachers are concerned about the flipped classroom. They think they’ve got to be masters of technology in order to do it! They think 'normal' teaching is being asked to take a back seat. That’s not true. Here's why! It’s easy to make a learning videos. You just need to be shown once or twice and then you’ll get it. Check out this guy!

The more the more experience you’ve got teaching, the more important it is that your teaching should be able to be accessed in this manner. Expert mature teachers are where it’s at.

I'm not sure we want thousands of learning videos made by brand-new teachers.

Sure! :) Of course new teachers have got value to add! I'm not saying they don't. 

But really, the bulk of educational material should probably be coming from expert mature teachers.

These are the teachers (generally) that have been teaching for 10 to 40 years, the teacher that knows the common mistakes that students make, and the errors to avoid. These are the teachers that we need to make learning videos. Here is probably the most value!

Mr. Gonski  - I don't think you will be able to create a classroom environment which caters for each individual student and provides realistic individual learning plan, unless you to some extent embrace this sort of strategy and technology usage. It’s been around for a little while and it’s called the Flipped Classroom.

That name might not be be entirely helpful because the origins of the ‘Flipped Classroom’ terminology, came from the concept of flipping [inverting] the classic homework and instruction model. This means that the ‘Flipped Classroom’ (originally) referred to a very specific structure in which the ‘homework’ was done in school, and the ‘learning’ was done at home.  See how it ‘flipped’ the normal paradigm? :)

So...that’s where the term ‘flipped’ came from. But – Mr Gonski ...that’s not the case anymore!

Times move on.

Things have changed and educators have realized that, whatever you want to call it, most students now have devices that enable them to access very specific video lessons, at any time, at their own pace (as students have the ability to pause and rewind and fast-forward) and at any place...as long as there is a working WiFi connection! :)

So it doesn't really matter whether the learning videos are watched at home or at school. What matters, is that what is watched, pertains to that student specific learning requirements.

In short -  it's about how schools can enhance student learning, by leveraging available Wi-Fi, a video platform like Youtube, and the range of personal devices available today.  

Personalized learning is not a pipe dream. It’s possible. It’s here now. It’s just gonna take a little time, a little effort and a little open-mindedness to reach every student, in every classroom.


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