Last year at this time the most technological piece of equipment in my room was an overhead projector. Transparencies, wet erase markers, paper towel scraps all over, and blue fingers from quick licking and erasing all add up to equal a pretty static and one-size-fits-all teacher centered instruction. Students typical class consisted of a warm-up, homework check, a lecture, guided practice and independent work time (if there was time left in the hour). If there were still problems from the book left to complete the students were assigned to finish them at home. As far as I know this was a pretty well accepted and wide practiced approach to learning.
Since then my learning environment has completely changed. iPads are exceptional at delivering content and personalizing instruction. Being absolutely compelled to check out epub creations I have fully dove into creating interactive notes using video lectures created on my laptop, photos edited by skitch, embedded voice prompts recorded in garage band, and active links to sites that will track and record student progress (more to come on interactive text in future posts). I know there is plenty of room for improvement in this content delivery style but when I think about how this can help personalize instruction and give instant student feedback I can’t help but to think this is good and the right direction to move in.
This style of delivery is often referred to as flipped instruction. I have lots of thoughts on flipped instruction and personally I have really been excited about this style and what it has allowed for in the learning environment. Here too, there is tons of room for improvement with integrating this approach and making it really effective for my students. However, at this point in it’s implementation I can honestly say I will never go back to a static stand and deliver a-one-size-fits-all lecture.
The other day it struck me that students were having instruction personalized on many different levels. Some were working ahead watching and listening to future lectures and practicing problems in sections the rest of the class was not. Some were catching up on lectures not yet watched trying to keep up with the class. Some were reviewing concepts via video they had already viewed and some were getting direct personal face to face just-in-time-teaching from me.