Image courtesy of Grant Kwok
For any of you who have been regular readers of this blog, you know that I haven’t been a big fan of ‘flipping’ the language classroom. To clarify a bit, I have never been entirely against the concept of having these students do some preparation at home before class, but the idea of converting your entire curriculum over to this method seems off to me. I have always felt like we were taking away something valuable by not having the ability to use this time to see how students were doing. One student may take longer to finish than another, but you wouldn’t find that out without having them in the classroom.
Fast forward to last weekend where I had the opportunity to sit in on a session about flipping given by two people I trust in the field of ELT, Iwona and Margarita of English Online. To be honest, I mostly went to the session to support them, but I was also interested to hearing their side of the matter. While I am still not completely convinced about flipping my entire classroom, I can see merit in some of the things that they mentioned, retreating a bit from my hard and fast stance. Here are my takeaways from that session. Continue reading Retreating
Image courtesy of davidd
When I was in grade eleven, I took a foods class as an elective. Most students took a language elective, but due to a long story involving a move from one part of Canada to another and a teacher who really hated me (I need to tell this story in more detail some time), I ended up dropping French in grade nine. So, here I was one of the only guys in a class of about 20 girls taking cooking and nutrition. Needless to say, it was a great choice. I actually learned a lot from that class including a pretty solid understanding of nutrition and diet. At that time, the Rotation Diet and Scarsdale diet were in vogue as a way of losing weight and we took the time to talk about fad diets and the dangers behind them. What my teacher stressed was that there was no magic bullet to losing weight and staying healthy. Eating balanced meals and exercising regularly were probably the best thing you could do to being and staying healthy.
No, I am not changing professions to become a food economics teacher, but what I do what to address is the need to find that ‘lighting in a jar’ form of teaching that will make learning so much better for your students and so much easier for the instructor. Throughout the years, methods and approaches have come and gone with varied success, but what sustains learning is something altogether different. Continue reading Dieting
Image courtesy of the San Jose Public Library
When I was a young boy growing up in British Columbia, we had an educational channel on TV called The Knowledge Network. One of the unique features at the time was that you could take distance classes from Athabasca University that used content being broadcast on The Knowledge Network as part of the lecture material for the course. I remember thinking as a kid that this was pretty cool.
Fast-forward to today and this is hardly groundbreaking. We can access material on-demand and on various platforms. We can even interact with one another using Skype or Google Hangouts, attend webinars, and tweet with professionals from around the world including renowned authors, professors, and other professionals.
So, where does this leave us? The latest trend is in the area of blended learning called flipping. Continue reading Flipping