TIES Conference ‘flips’ over ISD 834 flipped classroom idea

The flipped classroom concept used by Independent School District 834 is about to take center stage at a weekend education conference in Minneapolis.

ISD 834 Technology Integration Specialist Kristin Daniels, Coordinator of Educational Innovation and Technology Mike Dronen and Technology Implementation Specialist Wayne Feller are giving seven presentations at the TIES 2012 Education and Technology Conference at the Hyatt Regency and Millennium hotels. Daniels presents a program called “Faces of the Flipped Classroom” on Tuesday.

The flipped classroom idea is gaining national attention, according to Marla Davenport of TIES.

“It’s beginning to get students to learn more on their own and apply it on their own,” she said. “We’re trying to change the way students are learning and applying the 21st century skills.”

Daniels says the flipped classroom allows teachers to create video content that students can view either in or out of class in place of a classroom lecture. After watching the video, students return to the classroom and teachers can offer in-depth answers students’ questions.

“My question to teachers is how do you want to spend your class time with your students? And what’s the best use of your time,” Daniels said. “Most teachers will say that a 40-minute lecture is not a good use of time. What the flipped classroom allows teachers to do is condense and make information more concise and clear. That information can then be used in or out of the classroom.”

Dronen and Daniels both said the flipped classroom caters to individualized and personalized learning for students. Dronen said the videos let students learn at their own pace. If students’ don’t understand something, they can back up the video and hear it again or re-learn some concepts giving them trouble. Then if students still have questions, they can talk with their teacher during their lesson.

“The teachers have more face-to-face time with students during their classroom time which allows them to individualize their learning and personalize it,” Dronen said.

Daniels said there has been some misconstrued understanding about what flipped learning is.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions that are perpetuating bad pedagogy that says we’re just putting a lecture on video and having kids do their homework in the classroom. It’s an easy way for people to misconstrue it,” Daniels said. “But with flipped learning your class time gets cleared up and teachers get more time with students. Educators are re-inventing what it means to be a teacher and with the new flipped classroom it allows teachers to engage in some of the main reasons they went into teaching for.”

Daniels said that with the new learning style, fifth-grade math concepts were taught faster and gave students more opportunity for hands-on classroom learning.

“If I’m one of your readers, I may think it’s a gimmick or a fad but we think it’s a transitional piece and a way for students to experience learning in a different way. We also think it helps students learn at a pace that’s appropriate for them too,” Dronen said.

More than 3200 educators, mostly from Minnesota, are expected to attend the conference. Dronen and Daniels hope to both teach and learn something while they’re at the session.

Daniels hopes that teachers are inspired to adopt some of their ideas in their own classrooms.

“So many educators I know have said that there are a lot of things that hurt students creativity and passion for learning, utilizing some of the things from the panel could help them make a small change and find the spark of learning again for their students.” Daniels said.

“We do hope to spark interest and provide practical advice and resources to them to take back to their schools,” Dronen said. “We hope to learn from them too. It’s great how when we go out and present that we’re able to learn important stuff through this as well.”

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If You Go

TIES 2012 Education and Technology Conference

Saturday through Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency and Millenium hotels on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. Visit http://ties2012.ties.k12.mn.us/ for more information and a conference schedule.

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