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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Week in Review - It Feels Like Spring

Good morning. Another week has zoomed past us, but at this point in the school year some of us may think that's a good thing. This week the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page received its 21,000th "like." Thank you all for sharing and liking my posts. After five years of blogging I am still amazed and flattered that you choose to spend some of your valuable time on my blog. As I do every weekend, I've put together a list of the seven most popular posts of the last week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Teaching Parents and Others About Passwords
2. Using the Swabr Microblogging Network in Schools
3. Financial Literacy, Taxes, and Economics Lessons
4. Alpha Maps - Wolfram Alpha Entries on a Map
5. Geography, Class, and Fate of Titanic Passengers
6. Seven YouTube Channels Not Named Khan Offering Math Lessons
7. QR Codes Explained and Ideas for Classroom Use


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Three Questions to Consider Before We All Flip

Pedro Moura Pinheiro on Flickr
It seems like you can't open an education periodical these days without finding an article espousing the wonders of flipping the classroom. Like most initiatives in schools, flipping the classroom does have merit in the right situation. But also like most initiatives it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Here are three questions that I have to ask before flipping a classroom.

1. Do the majority of your students complete their homework assignments on time on a consistent basis? If not, there may be a larger issue of student engagement and motivation to investigate. Furthermore, if you flip the classroom and students come to class having not watched the video lessons, how do you spend your classroom time the next day? Do you let students watch the videos in class? Do you reteach the lesson that they should have watched for homework?

2. Do all of your students have access to the web at home? If not, how are you going to address that? Will you distribute copies of your video files to students before they leave your classroom? Do you all of your students have computers or tablets to use at home? If the answer is "no" to one or all of these questions, are you setting up an inequitable learning environment?

3. Do you have time to create quality videos? If not, will you create some and then source the rest of from the web?

For the record, I'm not against flipping the classroom in the right situation. I just don't want to rush into a model that might not be the best solution for all situations.

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