Sunday, August 19, 2012

Flipping - not just for students

Setting An Example

Many teachers would agree that far too much time is spent in meetings where information is simply being disseminated.  Discussions may also occur, but many times these are just gripe sessions with no real movement or resolution attained on the topics.  Flipping faculty meetings is a new idea that is emerging along with the flipped teaching movement.  It is important for a couple of reasons.  A flipped faculty meeting is a more efficient use of staff time and we all know teachers who ditch faculty meetings because they feel their time is being wasted.  When administration implements a new model of flipping meetings, it also shows that it is ok to take risks and to try new things because that is how we keep learning and improving.  Elementary Principal, Melinda Miller, tried this new format with her staff this year and received positive feedback.  You can read about her experience in her post "Flipped Faculty Meeting 2012".  

Jumping In

As an ed tech coordinator I believe in modeling the change you want to see in the classroom.  I agree with  teacher Bill Ferriter's statement in his blog "The Tempered Radical", that teachers won't be convinced flipping is possible until they experience it first hand.  Two weeks ago I started by flipping a professional development workshop.  The workshop, "Twitter for Educators"  took participants through four modules where they could learn about Twitter and how to apply this tool in education.   Embedded in the flipped workshop was video, collaborative writing, surveys and assessment.  This was an optional workshop held over summer break.  Eleven teachers signed up, six worked online to complete all or some of the modules, four completed the quiz and five showed up to the face to face meeting.  During the face to face we expanded on the learning from the flipped workshop by practicing tweeting, following hashtags, using a social media management system (like Hootesuite) and participating in our own impromptu twitter chat.  


My Twitter for Educators flipped workshop was a success as teachers learned about Twitter and how to increase their personal learning network.  At the end of the flipped portion of the workshop I asked teachers how they might use Twitter, I have included a couple of responses below.

I learned about an assortment of educators who use twitter to share resources. I also learned that authors use twitter and that it is possible to make direct contact with them.
--High School English Teacher

Did not know this existed for ed. Interested in the Tech connections.
--Middle School Technology Teacher

In the future I plan to offer additional face to face meetings to help teachers take what they have learned further.  In an optional workshop like this one, setting a specific deadline for completion was not possible.  I basically gave teaches the option to attend the face to face if they were able to finish the flipped portion by the date.  I think setting a definite deadline would have created more urgency and encourage additional teachers to participate at higher levels.  

I would be interested in hearing from others who have flipped workshops or meetings for teachers.  How did you set it up, what were your results?  Please share your experiences or thoughts as I would love to hear about it as I plan future flipped sessions for teachers.