Go ahead and postpone the conversation about the backlash against the flipped classroom model. Supporters and skeptics alike — and even the researchers behind a seemingly critical new report — say the discussion continues to be positive. Or is it?
Flipping the classroom — the practice of giving students access to lectures before they come to class and using class time for more engaging activities — hasn’t been nearly as divisive as many other ed tech trends, such as massive open online courses or outsourcing digital services. So when USA Today last week reported on an experiment at Harvey Mudd College that had failed to improve student outcomes, it provided a rare contrast.
InsideHigherEd says that “Some students “said they felt the flipped classroom had a heavier workload,” and professors “had to spend considerably more time making and editing … videos and crafting engaging, hands-on sessions for their classes.” A comparison between the flipped classrooms and their traditional counterparts found “no demonstrable difference” in student outcomes. The researchers, the newspaper wrote, “have bad news for advocates of the trend: it might not make any difference.”
“The study could have fit into a growing body of research calling the science behind flipping the classroom into question. Days later, however, the researchers behind the study said their results and words had been misinterpreted.
Yes, the article did point out that the results were preliminary — twice in one sentence, even — but the headline (“ ‘Flipped classrooms’ may not have any impact on learning”) and hook drew too many conclusions about a study that is set to continue for another three years, they said. Continue reading “Flipping about flipping”
A growing number of faculty members are using social media in the classroom and are finding technology to be both a help and a hindrance, according to a new survey, reported in InsideHigherEd.
“About 40 percent of faculty members used social media as a teaching tool in 2013, an increase from 33.8 percent in 2012, according to a report by the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson Learning Solutions. Likewise, more faculty members used social media for professional communications and work in 2013 (55 percent) than in 2012 (44.7 percent). In both years, faculty members most often used social media for personal purposes.
“Faculty members’ use of social media has been steadily increasing since the survey was first conducted in 2010, said Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group.
“They’re very good at picking which site for which purpose and they’re aware of the advantages and disadvantages of all of them,” he said. “They seem to be thoughtful adapters and well aware of the risk.”
“Faculty members listed their top two concerns about social media in the classroom as technology’s impact on the integrity of student submissions and privacy in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 surveys. In 2013, the top privacy concerns were that others outside of the classroom would be able to participate in or view class discussions, and personal privacy risks for students.
“Though the survey has been conducted since 2010, only the last two surveys are comparable. A report was not compiled from the 2010 survey and the 2011 report is incomparable to the 2012 and 2013 surveys because it asked different questions, Seaman said. The 2011 survey included video as a social media tool and found that nearly two-thirds of faculty used social media in the classroom. Video is no longer included when looking at faculty members’ social media use because video use is passive, not social, Seaman said. Continue reading “Teaching with social media”
From Angry Birds to Minecraft, computer games are invading the classroom.
But this is not going on behind the teacher’s back anymore: it is part of the lesson plan, reports the BBC:
“The average young person will have spent 10,000 hours gaming by the time they are 21 years old, research suggests.This has been mainly for entertainment, providing light relief from the maths textbooks and science experiments taking place in classrooms. But gaming is taking up more time of a child’s life.
“For a child in the US with perfect attendance, 10,080 hours will be spent in school from fifth grade (age 10) to high school graduation, according to game designer Jane McGonigal. Minecraft is just one game that has found its way into the classroom, actually being used in lessons In the UK, computer games offering “stealth learning” have been used by many schools. But the big developers have generally, so far at least, not been keen to get involved.
“Angry Birds creator Rovio has brought Angry Birds Playground, a schools initiative devised with the University of Helsinki in Finland, into the kindergarten classroom of children, aimed at six-year-olds. With the initiative already in use in Finland, Rovio has now entered into an agreement with schools in China. “With small children, the Finnish approach to education is very much play-orientated,” says Sanna Lukander, vice president of book publishing at Rovio Entertainment. “These characters and their world seemed to inspire children. You can’t not think about how you might motivate children to do more than play.” Finland is rated as having the best education system in the developed world. And it is not just the same edition of Angry Birds re-packaged: it is using the now-famous characters in new education-based games and a “full 360-degree approach to learning” involving books, teachers and digital devices.”
More at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24228473