Showing posts with label Flipped Lesson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flipped Lesson. Show all posts

Friday, 27 January 2012

Using Blended Learning And Personalized Learning Simultaneously, Not Synonymously

As we talk to more and more people about what we are doing at Greenwood College School, I have noticed a misconception developing that personalized learning is synonymous with blended learning. This is not the case. Blended learning can be used to personalize a classroom. It can also be used as a tool in a non-personalized classroom. Personalized learning can be accomplished with or without the use of technology. However, many teachers find that technology is an incredibly useful tool for personalizing their students’ experiences. Hence, the two approaches are beginning to be thought of as one and the same.

Personalized learning asks teachers to get to know their students’ strengths and weaknesses. The teacher’s role is to guide the students towards challenge or support, depending on what is needed.

This can be done without any technology at all. For example, an English teacher might recognize that a student needs more support with writing an introduction and that another student needs to be reading a more challenging book. When the teacher acts on these observations, they are personalizing the experience for these two students.

Blended learning combines face-to-face teaching with technology-rich activities, such as online content videos and interactive activities. The “flipped lesson” is an approach being used in more and more schools. This approach has the students watch a video of the lesson the night before for homework and then complete problems or work deeper with this content while in class.  Most often, the students are all watching the same video lesson on the same day and then completing the same activities when in class. This is an excellent example of blended learning, but it is not personalizing the students’ experience.

The senior mathematics classes that I am developing at Greenwood College School combine the two approaches of blended learning and personalized learning. Blended learning resources are used as the tools to personalize how students move through the course material. All of the lessons are videos accessed online. Class time is spent working on problems and activities. The difference between this and the usual “flipped classroom” is that the students are all working at their own pace. This allows them to work through the material in a personalized manner.  Some students will work ahead and complete two courses in one year (Greenwood College School is non-semestered, so until now, students were only able to complete one course in a year). Other students will spend more time on certain topics, using their class time to get reinforcement from a peer or from their teacher.

Because technology is such an excellent education tool, more and more teachers are creating blended learning courses and courses that use the “flipped lesson” approach. Personalization is a way to meet the needs of and to motivate individual students. In the senior mathematics classes at Greenwood College School we are using both of these techniques simultaneously. We have seen that while blended learning and personalized learning are not synonymous, using them in conjunction gives the teacher time to work one-on-one with students and guide them in a direction that meets their individual needs.

Heather Rigby
Director of Personalized Learning

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Using the Flipped Lesson to Personalize Learning

The flipped lesson, or inverted classroom, is an increasingly popular teaching technique that replaces the traditional classroom lecture with a video or some other electronic resource. Students work through the video or resource at home which allows class time to be used for hands-on activities, practice and discussion.

The use of a flipped lesson enables students to learn how they want - and when they want - which are both important elements of personalized learning. For example, a student who needs time to process concepts can proceed through a lecture slowly, pause where necessary, consult their textbook or rewind to hear an explanation again.

The personalization of this approach can be further enhanced if the teacher does not require all students to be on the same lesson each day. Once a teacher makes this transition, students will be able to learn when they are ready, when it suits their schedule … and the classroom will be a space where students are working on a variety of different tasks simultaneously.

At Greenwood College School, the flipped lesson has become integral to our blended learning program and our personalized approach. As our experience grows, we are developing an understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Here is a list of some of our best practices for the inverted classroom and our self-paced program:

  • Keep Videos Short. Rather than record the lecture that would normally be presented, create short concept videos and try to keep them less than 10 minutes.
  • Engage Students. Create a worksheet or notes template to accompany videos to ensure students are active participants.
  • Practice and Apply. Students are monitored to ensure that they are doing more than merely watching videos. Teachers ensure that students complete practice problems and work on more complex problems that promote higher order thinking skills and build on the content presented in the resource.
  • Vary the Resources. There are many other free tools in addition to a video that can be used to teach a concept.
  • Assess Frequently. As students become more self-directed and self-paced in their learning, it is essential to know their level of understanding and modify their program accordingly.
  • Cycle Back to Key Concepts. Through daily warm-ups, students are asked to revisit concepts that are key to the unit or course. Keeping these concepts fresh allows them to successfully build on these foundation skills.
  • Be Organized. If students are going to self-pace, resources must be well-organized and easy to access. Deadlines and expectations must be clear.

Kyle Acres
Science Teacher