Class 10: The Flipped Lesson

The traditional classroom is filled with a lot of lower-order, information transmission that can be-off loaded to “homework” via content-rich websites and videos. That frees up more classroom time as a center for student interaction, production and reflection.

While some may think flipping is all about watching videos, it’s really about creating more time for in-class student collaboration, inquiry, and interaction.

Designing a flipped lesson begins with thinking about what’s the best use of classroom time.

Flipping content is also a catalyst for transforming the teacher from content transmitter to instructional designer and changing students from passive consumers of information into active learners taking a more collaborative and self-directed role in their learning.

Over the first 9 weeks of this class, I have used video tutorials to pre-teach material using a flipped approach. For example here’s a sample of a TEDed video lesson we used earlier in the course to teach historical thinking skills.

I’ve also used short tutorial screencast to provide specific just in time training for students as needed. This has freed up class time since we haven’t had to teach for example, how to use WordPress.

I’ve sent a link out to students to watch the slide deck in advance of today’s class. So we’ll spend time exploring two options to create content. Students will be asked to design a flipped lesson during this class using one of the following methods.

Use TEDed to host existing YouTube content

Teacher can use existing videos on TEDed and YouTube to create customized lessons. They can use, tweak, or completely redo any lesson featured on TEDed, or create lessons from scratch.  Visit this YouTube Playlist to a few short tutorial videos on using TEDed.

Create your own screencast to share with students

There are many free and easy to use apps for creating screencasts. One option is the free Snagit Chrome extension for screen casting (great for Chromebook schools). For our class activity we’ll be using the  QuickTime Player app built into Macs.  Here’s a how to video tutorial on creating a screencast with QuickTime Player.

Assignment for Class 11

Students will design a lesson using one of the two methods above. They will then write a blog post that showcases their flipped lesson and reaction to designing it. Feel free to generalize on the challenges and opportunities of flipped delivery of course content. See student posts here.

Students that develop a screencast can upload and host the video on Media@UP edMethods Flipped Lessons.

Students that use TEDed for lesson design can include a link to their TEDed lesson in the blog post.

Digitize Me!

Created by the author from Haiku Deck -- an internet application that can be used in a 1 to 1 classroom.
Created by the author from Haiku Deck — an internet application that can be used in a 1 to 1 classroom.

Prompt:  Assume you have your first full time teaching job and the principal tells you that you’ve been selected to pilot the  “1 to 1 Project.”  What are your thoughts about the opportunities and challenges that  presents?

Technology is not only a fact of life for most Americans these days but rather an integral part of their everyday lives. This is especially true for today’s teens who often interact with multiple forms of technology on a regular basis. Enter “1 to 1 classrooms,” an amazing opportunity for educators to utilize technology in order to create an engaging and meaningful learning environment for their students. Personally, I can envision countless ways to take advantage of all that 1 to 1 classroom activities have to offer—not least of which being the possibility of encourage students’ willingness and drive to learn.

I am very interested in the idea of a “flipped” classroom, especially in the context of a social studies class. I feel this structure would lend itself very well to the subject for example, students could watch a pre-recorded video of a lecture and then come prepared to class to discuss and delve deeper into related primary sources. My concern with this set-up however would be in terms of access. I’ve worked in a number of high poverty schools and I know that this strategy would not have worked and indeed would have been a hardship for my students. The ideas, opportunities, and apps are all out there doing amazing things, I just think that we as educators need to always think very critically about how to implement 1 to 1 strategies to best serve our students’ unique needs and circumstances.

Class 7: The 1 to 1 Classroom

France_in_XXI_Century._SchoolWe’re using the iPad cart today to explore the challenges and opportunities of the 1 to 1 classroom.

Our class will open with a bit of “speed dating” of our ideas for the Document-Based Lesson Assignment. Students will form two lines and have 2 minutes to pitch their DBL design idea to each other and share some feedback. Then one line will shift and we repeated the pitch exchange. In all students will pitch their idea three times.

The goal of this phase is to gather feedback from peers regarding the following:

  • You have an interesting generative / essential question worth answering.
  • Your initial appraisal indicates there are suitable documents available.
  • You have an idea for how students will be asked interpret your documents.

Then we’ll break out the iPads to get idea what can be done with iBooks Author. We’ll look at three iBooks to develop some insights into what we might do with our iBook project.

Then we will have some time to explore three iPad apps that would have use in the social studies classroom.

Padlet – a simple tool for curating and collaboration. Tutorial
Haiku Deck – presentation software.  How to video (made by 6th graders – nice)
SimpleMind – a very basic mind mapping app. How to video

Three assignments:

1. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, create one. On 10/26 we’ll take part in a Twitter chat. BTW – you should be thinking about your digital profile. Your future employers will Google you.

2. DBL proposal – Submit a preliminary idea for your DBL design project for Peter’s feedback. It should be posted to a shared Google folder. It can be in the form of a Google doc that addresses. Proposal due 10/19. Here’s a short video on using shared Google folder

  1. Where will you use it?  Grade, course, etc
  2. An interesting generative / essential question worth answering.
  3. 3 -5 suitable documents (include links).
  4. A brief explanation of “what are the kids going to do?”

Note: This is not intended to be a fully developed lesson. Just an idea of where you intend to go.

C. Blog post – Assume you have your first full time teaching job and the principal tells you that you’ve been selected to pilot the  “1 to 1 Project.” (1 to 1: where ever student is provided with a device. Could be iPads, laptops Chromebooks, or other device) Blog post due 10/25

What are your thoughts about the opportunities and challenges that 1 to 1 (with a wifi network) presents?
Note: This is not a research project on ed tech devices or 1 to 1 classrooms – it’s a writing prompt.

Here’s a few questions to get you thinking. No you don’t have to answer them all.

  • How would you respond to teaching in a 1 to 1 environment – feel empowered or scared?
  • Would the student use them for consuming information or creating?
  • Would the devices be an asset to learning or distraction for students?
  • If you were able to “flip” some content, what would you do with the class time?
  • How would the devices impact the roles of teacher and student?

Have fun with it – Give me 2-3 paragraphs, a catchy title and interesting public domain image. Might as well get thinking about the prospects, because that’s where this is all heading. Remember you can search for contemporary or historical public domain images using this advanced Google image search strategy.


Image credit: A 19th-Century Vision of the Year 2000

A series of futuristic pictures by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the then distant year of 2000. There are at least 87 cards known that were authored by various French artists, the first series being produced for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. More information and cards here.

Class 4: Historical Thinking

Phrenology-signs of characterOur class begins with a review of the Sam Wineburg reading and TEDEd flipped lesson Who is the historian in your classroom? That will also provide a chance to discuss the efficacy of flipping content. We will also consider the social media case study inspired by this lesson.

Today we begin our study of historical thinking skills based on the work of Sam Wineburg and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). We will focus on three key skills – Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating. See historical thinking chart (pdf at SHEG).

You will work with a team to reverse engineer a few of the assessments found in SHEG’s Beyond the Bubble.

  • Spend a few minutes doing a scan of the lessons – and find a few that look interesting to you. (Be sure scan the “Same assessment types” for other ideas)
  • Find 3 questions that focus on any of these skills: Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating
  • With your team diagram how the assessments are designed:
    How many historic sources, what types.
    What additional information are students given?
    How many prompts?
    What are students asked to do?
    How is the assessment designed to support the skills
  • Be prepared to share your finding with the whole class.

We will also look at How to Read Documentary Films  a lesson that I recently developed for the Uprooted Museum Exhibit.

Assignment for Class 5

You will each design a historical thinking mini-lesson based on the Beyond the Bubble assessment model.

We will use this assignment as a chance to create a shared Google presentation. I’ve prepared some brief Google Presentation video tutorials. You can find them at this YouTube playlist / Working with Google Slides.

Note: each of you will be contributing to the same Google Slides presentation. I’ve listed your names in alphabetical order in the presentation. You will turn that name placeholder slide into your mini-lesson title slide. You will insert additional slides in your section of the presentation as needed.

All mini lessons should include

  1. Title slide for your mini-lesson. Make it catchy!
  2. Your name as author of the mini-lesson on your lesson title (your lesson will take multiple slides in the presentation – have your name in small font at bottom of each slide)
  3. Target students – by grade level
  4. Indication of one (or more) of the historic skills to be studied – Sourcing, Contextualization, Corroborating
  5. One or more historic documents. Text, image and videos can be inserted into the slide. Longer documents can be linked to via URL or saved in Google drive with link to it.
  6. Source URLs for all documents used
  7. Guiding questions for students to use with document(s)
  8. Brief description of how the document(s) and question(s) should reinforce the targeted historic skill(s)

My recommended sources for this assignment are the Primary Source Sets found at the US Library of Congress. These sets are organized by theme and include a wide variety of source types. Here’s a few examples of the sets:

Baseball: Across a Divided Society
Song sheets, video clips, images, trading cards, and photographs tell the story of how baseball emerged as the American national pastime. Featured primary source items show Americans from different backgrounds and social experiences embracing the sport.

Maps From The World Digital Library
Explore maps from different cultures and eras to discover diverse perspectives on the world’s geography. All the items in this set are from the World Digital Library, a project that makes available significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

Women’s Suffrage
Sound files, sheet music, photographs, letters and maps help students better understand women’s suffrage

You may also wish to take a look at Teacher’s Guides and Analysis Tool that offer questions for each type of source material.

Image from S. Wells,
New Physiognomy, or Signs of Character…, NY, 1871