This is has not been the first time I have designed a flipped lesson using the TedEd format. I had previously used the format for one of my education courses. I have found that the TedEd format for the flipped lesson is a simple tool for teachers to create lessons for students using already established videos. This makes it easier for the teacher to gather the appropriate content for the lesson. TedEd also has a streamline format for the inclusion of questions and discussions that the students can use to begin to dig deeper into a topic rather than just parrot back information.
If I were to use the flipped lesson format, especially the TedEd format, I would use it in a supplementary role or as a means for students to access the material at home. For example, if a student is absent for an extended period of time, the flipped lesson allows the students catch up with the material that they had missed during that time. Also, if a student is not grasping lecture material, the use of the video medium can supplement their learning, buttressing what they have learned.
The world continues to be an ever-evolving place, and, as with all things, educational strategies must adapt in parallel. Today, the most significant change is occurring in the field of technology, and incorporating its use into the classroom is essential to aligning with the evolving needs of students. Perhaps the most obvious use of this new resource is for delivery of content, and teachers across the world are finding it beneficial to “flip” their classroom, having students watch videos the night before class. This frees up in-class time for interactive activities and project-based learning.
Here’s a link is to a Ted-Ed lesson on the causes of the Great Depression. Students watch the video, answer a few questions, and are presented with additional materials to explore and space to converse with each other. The video raises several points of debate and is largely inconclusive as to specific causes, setting the stage for the activity the following day. In-class, students will be presented with many strips of paper, each with a different factor contributing to the Great Depression. In groups, they will sort the strips by level of impact, discussing their rationale as they go. Once completed, results will be collected and analyzed to produce a class-wide list generated from average list position for each cause. A whole group discussion and debate on the list will conclude the session.
In my professional career, I fully plan to utilize the flipped lesson model quite often. I am a proponent of project-based learning, and freeing up time for in-class collaboration is at the heart of this approach. In my own career as a student, I found interactive tasks that generated a product offered opportunities to feel genuinely proud of my schoolwork, something strikingly absent from the traditional endless chain of worksheets. Flipping content delivery to the night before allows for this type of meaningful exploration of the material. Kids can learn by doing rather than just listening.
The traditional top-down-lecture model of education has been made essentially irrelevant by technology. It is simply not practical to ask students to sit and listen to a speech when they can find the same material online with a quick internet search. Online materials can be paused, re-watched, and used as reference, creating a useful tool where once only a fleeting lecture was available. The new task of teachers is to teach students how to use these new tools effectively, and how to assess the sources of information they find. These are distinct skills that must be taught directly and absorbed through repetition. It’s a good thing there’ll be so much time in class to work on them.
As part of our Digital History class, we were asked to design a Flipped Lesson. I decided to use TedEd as my platform (which can be seen here.)
I’ll admit that it was a really fun project that really got me thinking about all of the extra time that front loading content would give me in class. What kind of conversations would we have, what kind of work stations could I set up to get students to dig into this topic more, what projects could they work on, etc. However, there’s one big issue for me for Flipped Lessons – ACCESS.
There are so many variables that are outside of the teacher’s control when work gets put back onto the students at home: does the student have electricity, does the student have access to internet, does the student have access to reliable technology, does the student have a place to sleep tonight, etc. I have no doubt that flipped lessons are wonderful in communities where many of those issues aren’t present but for many students who are struggling, this might place just another obstacle in front of them for accessing critical information for class.
That being said though, I think that if I as a teacher do my due diligence to ensure that all of my bases are covered and know my students’ home situations well enough, I think I would use this as a resource.
Prompt: Students were asked to design a flipped lesson and then write a blog post that showcases their flipped lesson and reaction to designing it.
For this Flipped lesson I wanted to combine the use of Screencast and TedEd. In a previous ED class I designed a short video using screencast, featuring me drawing out a social studies lesson, which was accompanied by a narrative as to what was being shown. I got this idea after watching a popular youtube video called, “Draw My Life.” However, rather than drawing out the personal details of my own life, I wanted to apply this strategy of telling a story to a history lesson. This I believed would be a fun way of engaging with my students as they will hear my voice, be exposed to my own drawings and explanations, and have fun watching a story being drawn out to them.
However, for this previous ED class assignment I was not asked to have any questions or reflection to accompany the video. At the time I thought it would be sufficient to just have a novel and fun new way for my students to learn. But, after many hours of experience, and gaining new knowledge as to how student learn and retain information, I now know I need to have some sort of formal or informal assignment to accompany such video lessons, in order for students to really understand the information being fed to them. This is where the TedEd becomes a wonderful tool for teachers.
By combining my screencast lessons with TedEd I am now able to have the needed assessment to gauge whether my students understood the lesson, and if they are able to apply the information they just learned by answering questions, and participating in discussions via online.