I began teaching with excitement, passion, and energy. This was a second career for me, so I was in pursuit for something I truly loved. Initially I taught math, and it was tremendously fun. Until, I got bogged down with paperwork, curriculum, and analyzing students test statistics. I realized that my teaching philosophy no longer aligned with my Learning Philosophy which caused much frustration.
I searched for a solution that would provide students with a student learning environment with real-world experience. Through my pursuit, I found Career and Technology courses that would provide this flexibility. These courses gave students access to technology while providing hands-on experiences, in ways that never seemed possible. When I began developing my innovation plan my initial goal was broad, simply wanting to provide students with choices. Through extensive research and my Literature Review I decided blended learning with rotations, seemed an excellent option. Blended learning combines the best of both concepts of online learning, and traditional teacher led instruction (Clayton, Horn, & Staker, 2013). Providing students choices, creates higher level of engagement, providing a deeper level of understanding.
The majority of teachers I have seen implement videos, set the expectation for students to watch these videos at home, through a flipped classroom (Brame, 2013). The students come to class with basic knowledge of concepts, allowing the teacher to build on the application of these concepts. I have not extensively researched the effectiveness of implementing a flipped classroom, but I have heard several complaints by both parents and students over the years. Even with the amazing gains in technology, some students still enjoy a teacher guiding them throughout the information. While parents complain that providing only videos for students, teachers aren't teaching. I decided to eliminate these concerns, by providing both videos and teacher led instruction, every day. With my class being an on-level elective, I would also provide these options during class, while providing time for students to develop concepts through projects at a higher level.
Always evolving & never-ending
There is little flexibility with my classroom design, but all of my students have access to a desktop computer, which made the transition to blended learning simple. I wanted to structure my classroom to allow for some students to work at their own pace, while I teach the lesson to a smaller group that prefer teacher-led. I was concerned that I would not have the time needed to make videos, so initially I implemented videos from the electronic book we use. Only a handful of students took advantage of working at their own pace, so I asked the students for feedback. Students admitted that the videos were too slow, without sound, and much longer than my teacher-led lesson. So I began making my own.
Little, by little I encouraged students to try out the videos if they couldn’t see, arrived late, or just wanted to have one-on-one instruction. Currently about 30% of my students prefer learning through the videos, but they ALL have enjoyed being given the option. I will use this initial implementation year of my blended learning plan to work through obstacles and technology issues. Then I plan to extend this concept to other teachers by using the five principles of professional training (Gulamhussein, 2013).
When developing the video I took several factors into consideration. I used research to effectively appeal to the administrators’ and colleagues, but more importantly I aimed to start with the end in mind, and share a story through transformation. Starting with the end in mind provides the audience a sense of direction and purpose, which increases their willingness to listen (Simon, 2015). Through these connected pieces, the story comes together. Moreover, when you can tell a story that shows transformation this allows the audience to connect with their heart (Duarte, 2013). To connect to the audience’s heart, I used relate-able scenarios and classroom footage to make the video more personable.
My first videos were my Manifesto and Growth Mindset, where I simply incorporated both PowerPoint and Kaltura. This allowed me to use a software I was extremely comfortable with using, (PowerPoint) but still having an opportunity to share my voice. The challenge was not with the software, but making it through a five minute video without any mistakes. I decided to go a different route with my next video, Blended Learning, even though I have never edited anything, I wanted to push myself to learn new software. I researched many different types, but it was difficult finding a free program that I could have music, voice-over, and video. I stumbled upon Movavi editing software, and found it very user friendly, and free! But only to find out the free component meant a huge watermark across the video. So I bought the software and redid the video. As frustrating as this was, it paid off in the end. I now am gaining more confidence with editing, and in my current video I have learned how to use text, layer pictures, and effects.
Brame, C., (2013). Flipping the classroom. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved [todaysdate] from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/flipping-the-classroom/
Duarte, N. (2013, March 21). Youtube. Retrieved from Stanford graduate school of business: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JrRQ1oQWQk&feature=youtu.be
Everette, M. (2016, March 17). Teacher preparation: Real advice by real teachers. Scholastic, 1. Retrieved from https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/meghan-everette/teacher-preparation-real-advice-real-teachers/
Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the teachers effective professional development in an era of high stakes accountability. Center for public education. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main- Menu/Staffingstudents/Teaching-the-Teachers-Effective-Professional-Development-in-an-Era-of-High-Stakes Accountability/Teaching-the-Teachers-Full-Report.pdf
Horn, M., B., & Staker, M. B. (2015). Blended. San Francisco: Josey-Bass
Kua, B. (2011, April 11). Flickr. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/bensonkua/2405779789 Lindsay, J. (2014, September 16). Flickr. Retrieved from Social entrrepreneurship teacher workshop: https://www.flickr.com/photos/julielindsay/15404865423
Reyes, J. D. (2010, September 21). PE teacher, 31st SFS airman rule aviano marathon. 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs, 1. Retrieved from http://www.aviano.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/281059/pe-teacher-31st-sfs-airman-rule- aviano-marathon/
Sinek, S. (2015, May 5). youtube.com. Retrieved from Skillshare: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=e80BbX05D7Y&feature=youtu.be
Standards for Professional Learning. (2011). Retrieved from https://learningforward.org/standards
Tcodl. (2014, June 16). Consitutionality and reliability of tamilnadu council. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Constitutional_Reliability_of_Tamilnadu_Council.jpg
Vimeo. (ND). vimeocdn.com. Retrieved from https://i.vimeocdn.com/video/638200838_1280x720.jpg