Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So Flippin' Excited!

I was nervous, well still am nervous. Monday night I couldn't sleep, Tuesday I felt like I had a caffeine drip in my veins, Flip Class was getting the best of me - I couldn't wait to show off my baby. Boy have I learned a few things in just two days. Here are my reflections!

1. This generation of kids, and I'll have you know I am NOT that far removed from them, while they have been around technology all their lives are NOT technologically intelligent by default. I realized that while it was safe to assume a few things, most things would have to be taught. Yes they know what YouTube is, yes they know what Google is, yes they can access our LMS. Have they ever really used any of these things (other than the LMS) for educational purposes, no. So to teach them how to use them along these lines was quite the task. In two days, I hope I have scratched the service.

2. Over the summer I lovingly referred to my new Civics class (the syllabus, the flipped model, the ideas, thoughts etc.) as my baby. So I thought it no big deal to do this in my class. The conversation went something like this.

  • Ms. P: So this class is my baby, I have spent many hours nurturing it, and I love it. You don't have to love it back, but you certainly cannot call it ugly! And I'd love whatever feedback, positive and negative, you can give me.
  • Student: YOU HAD A BABY, but you weren't fat in June?
  • Ms. P: No, student, I did not have a baby over the summer. I was making a comparison between a parent raising a baby and me creating this class. Where I have created it and am now setting it free into the world to see how others will interact and react to it.
  • Student: Oh, that does make more sense.
Let me tell you - if a rumor got out that I did have a baby (AND I DIDN'T!) there would be some interesting conversations between me and the powers that be!

3. Students are very willing to give feedback and are great at it all you have to do is ask. I'm curious as to why they haven't before. Perhaps it's because of the typical student teacher relationship and there is some sort of boundary, or if they just never thought to - but I intend to do it much more often this year!

4. Their first flipped assignment is due by tomorrow at 7am - and as of right now I have 40/68 responses - with 3 emails asking for help and those 3 submitted. So tomorrow we'll recap with what to do. I spent today going back over what we did yesterday in terms of homework expectations and how to do it. I pretended I was again a 15 year old doing this homework and had them guide me through it - so I took wrong turns (clicks) and became side tracked. To them it was amusing but got the point across. Again it goes back to this idea of asking for feedback - a student suggested that I have them walk me through the process to see if they could remember. Sometimes my students are so smart!

Overall, I'm excited to see what the rest of the week brings - how have your first weeks been going?