Sunday, 23 November 2014

EduCanon: The Flipped Classroom

Last Sunday I discovered EduCanon and and was instantly hooked on the possibilities it could hold for my flipped classroom.  I immediately created my first video and instantly saw how this could further improve my flipped classroom at school - 

Excited yet? You will be in a minute!

Educanon allows you to seamlessly add interactive questions into any video from a vast range of sources, from YouTube, to Vimeo, to well anywhere!

Not only does it allow you to do this, but it allows you find out how the children have got on with the questions you've asked them. I gives you a graphical overview for every question and every child.

The ability to do this helped me achieve something I hadn't completely got my head around -  Finding out who had and who hadn't watched the video.  One of the problems with the flipped classroom is knowing who has and hasn't watched the videos before coming to school.  I've tried hidden words in videos, mini quizzes when the children arrived in school and them just being honest - to be honest all of them were honest if they didn't. 

I now know with a few clicks of a button who has and hasn't accessed the videos they needed to watch. 
Last week I blogged about how the children had been using Edmodo Quizzes to help them find their next steps in learning.  Read here

I've some great success with this, but the quizzes were not linked directly to the videos I was posting for the children.  They had to go looking for them.

This isn't a huge problem, but what I love about EduCanon is that the questions and embedded into the videos and are interactive. They have to give an answer to move on to the next part of the video. 

There are a range of questions you can use with the children, including multiplie choice and my personal favourite a 'thinking moment.'  

The image shows one of the videos from this week and how I've embedded the different types of questions into it. Watch it - here

Setting up the videos or bulbs doesn't take very long at all. Find the link, paste it in and start adding questions by hitting the pause button - you can even record your voice to help the children who struggle with reading the questions.

You then assign the bulbs (videos) to your class and set a date for them to watched by. The children are then presented with this screen when they log in.

The children get a green star when they've completed a bulb and they can even watch the videos again.

The children used this option during lessons to help themselves when they were struggling with a concept.  
Integrating with Edmodo

Now, the biggest selling point for me was when I discovered that the children didn't need to sign up, didn't need to remember new passwords or new websites - it links to Edmodo. I yelped in excitement when I saw all my class appear seamlessly on EduCanon via the Apps feature on Edmodo.  The children were instantly members!

We'd never used the Apps feature before, so I created a short screencasting video for the class instructing them on how to access their videos - watch it - here

So the children log into Edmodo, navigate to the EduCanon App and they are then presented with their interactive videos for the week.  

It gives the children a score at the end, but that remains private and only for the teacher and the child's knowledge.  This approach is important as we don't want a competitive nature to build in our classrooms.  

There are two reasons for using this method:

1. The Flipped Classroom: Children viewing content prior to the lesson so they can begin to apply skills back in the classroom.
2. The children can find their own next steps and know which challenge they need to try before they come to school

Reflective Time
Here is an example of a thinking time or reflective pause. We use these in the classroom, so why not when we are using a video.

I've often written about Pause, Rewind my Teacher, (in fact I wrote a book about it) and this really does enable the children to pause and think with an input from the class teacher.

I have only been using this for a couple of weeks, but the children seem very engaged with it and I've had some really positive responses from the parents in my class.  I'll be reporting back over the next few weeks about how my class have been using it and some of the mistakes and success I've had.

I'm excited, are you? 

Keep following on Twitter @chriswaterworth 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Flipped Classroom: Finding their OWN next steps

It's been a while since I have blogged about my flipped classroom so I thought it was time for an update.  Following my class into Year 4 has been a real blessing as I've been able to continue their flipped learning journey and been able to build on all the work we'd done last year.

Assessing and Learning without Levels

Since September every school in the country has been getting to grips with 'life after levels,' it really has been an interesting journey and one that a of schools will still be trying to get right for a while yet.  

One thing that removing levels has meant is that teachers and children need to be able to talk about what a child really needs to do rather than hiding behind a letter and a number. I really like this change; talking about children's achievements and where they need to go next with their learning.  Giving children the power to find their own next steps is really a powerful one and one thing I've been trying to encourage in my flipped classroom.

The Flipped Classroom: Finding their OWN next steps

Flipping Blooms Taxonomy
I've been using Edmodo in my classroom since Easter time to share the videos, links, photographs for my flipped classroom.   

The children log on at home, view the content, have a go and then bring their misconceptions and learning to school ready to apply the skills.

This has proved very successful and the children enjoy using the content within the lesson independently as well. You can read more about this here -  Edmodo 

The children have become very good at identifying their next steps, especially when having the video in front of them.  The children use the video to pause it at the point that they are stuck and either ask for help or re-watch that part again.  Using this method the children are independently finding solutions to the problems they are having; teacher to pupil ratio in my class has increased.

I've started to experiment with Edmodo Quizzes over the last few weeks with some success. 

Whilst some children were good at finding their next steps simply by watching the videos some struggled to articulate their thoughts and ideas.  I decided to use Edmodo Quizzes so the children have a clear idea of what they do and don't yet know how to do.  I can view the questions they got wrong and also their answers.

The image shows 5 questions I set about our weeks learning around measuring angles. Whilst the videos were based around actually measuring angles, I took the opportunity to see how many essential facts the children had retained since the last time we had covered angles in Year 3.

Here are the questions I used for the week and you can see the results in the image above.

I asked the children to go home, watch the videos over the weekend and then take the short quiz. It's a point and click multi-choice quiz, so it didn't take very long for them to complete.  You can choose to put a blank in a sentence, but I opted not to do that as the application will mark something wrong for incorrect spelling or writing 220 cm instead of 220cm (the space makes it incorrect).

I asked the children NOT to share their results as it was for them, nobody else.  I always use this growth mindset approach in my classroom around any test as the children need to understand that it will help them know what they need to learn next, not get fixated on the number. Ignore it, don't worry about it, focus on your next steps.

I shared the whole class results with the children because I wanted them to realise that there were things they needed to learn.  It helped me with planning as well, knowing what they struggled with even after watching the videos.  I know these questions were very closed and fact based, but the facts are part of having a good understanding of a topic.  Knowing the properties of an acute angle can help children spot when they've used the wrong measure on the protractor - how can 128 degrees be an acute angle? 

At the end of the week I will post the same quiz again for the children to complete on Friday before the new videos come online on Saturday morning.  The children can then see the progress they've made during the week and I can see if the results are improving.  

Challenge Videos on Edmodo
One other advantage of using these quizzes is that it enables me to see who has and who hasn't watched the videos ready for the weeks learning.  This week I did have a handful of children not watch the videos, which did worry me as it is such an important part of my classroom now that I needed to find time for them to watch - they did it at the start of the lesson.

They needed to do this as they needed to select the challenge based on these videos.  I'm hoping that by introducing these quizzes it will help me identify children who haven't watched, but also to help the children who struggle to identify their next steps.  

It's early days using this approach, but I certainly will be reporting back at the end of the term to share my findings.  I've had some good reports from the children and they've enjoyed the quizzes.  They've also been sharing their findings in the classroom to help each other with any concepts they've got wrong.

What have I been up to and what's next for me?

Both my books are on sale on Amazon Kindle, Google Books and Kobo for digital download. 

Amazon - Pause, Rewind My Teacher: A Flipped Approach to Learning

Amazon - Technology is a tool to be used not an outcome

The books detail all my work to date around flipped classrooms primary schools.  

I'm really proud that article I wrote on my Flipped Classroom has been published and is now available from The Teaching Times Website - here

I've submitted my article for Teach Primary and it'll be available in shops in November so look out for it on your staff room tables.  I've written about flipping Art and English lessons in Primary Schools.

I'm also hosting training sessions in December and March for Subject Support. You can find out more here

I've been invited to present at The BETT show 2015.  I'll be presenting Pause, Rewind My Teacher: Primary Flipped Learning at 10.00-10:45 on Saturday 24th January - see you all there!

I've also been invited to present at The Digital Education Show in London on Tuesday 30th June alongside some great names like Sir Ken Robinson, Sugata Mitra and many others - Find out more.

Keep following on Twitter @chriswaterworth