Friday, August 11, 2017

Flipping changes every semester!

Flipblogs topic August 16th

During last #Flipblogs chat, @flipping_A_tchr said that one of the main benefits of flipped learning was its flexibility within its set structure, and I think the principle of flexibility is precisely what has taken flipped learning further in my classrooms.

Before I delve into the changes I’m planning to make, allow me to give a bit of context. Currently, I’m a college professor. I work at Institución Universitaria Colombo Americana -ÚNICA, a teachers’ college in Bogota, Colombia. Our program, Teaching Degree in Bilingual Education is a small one and it welcomes students from underprivileged areas of the city. Normally, because of our inclusion policies, students who are not admitted to any other University to study to become English teachers are admitted into our program and we need to make sure they can cope with the academic demands. In the interest of facilitating our students’ learning processes, we are encouraged to innovate and find ways to help our learners, my way to do it: flipped learning!

Continuing with the context, I’m going to briefly present what I have done this past two semesters which take me to the innovations to carry out during 2017-2. I started at the UNICA in 2016-1. The course I flipped from the start was my English as a Foreign Language class. English 3, is an upper-intermediate course and as it is a general English course, it is supposed to cover all the communicative skills (Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking) and the language systems (Vocabulary and Grammar). Even though we have 8 hours of direct contact a week, there’s still a lot to do! Go figure!

During 2016-2, I flipped the grammar component of the course through peer-instruction (Mazur, 1997). Students created the grammar videos to be “consumed” by the class and we used different accountability methods for every video. I introduced students to @crystalkirch ’s WSQ format (which I love and find extremely useful), we did Cornell notes, we used Playposit, we did Kahoots!, etc. Then, while in class, we did some grammar exercises mostly found in our textbook. Students loved this change because they had always worked with the traditional model where the teacher explained the grammar structures on the board. For them, the change made to instruction was amazing… but for me, it wasn’t enough…

During 2017-1, I focused on the group learning space even though, students still did the videos. Last semester, I noticed how I had focused more on the videos that students made and the accountability activities that went with them than on what happened in class. So, during the second semester of my implementation I decided to transform my group learning space. Good thing I was reading George Couros’ (@gcouros) book, The Innovator’s Mindset at the time, so I could try out many innovative ideas. For example, as an opening activity for a “grammar day” we sketchnoted the information found on the video on the board and students took pictures of it to take home and study. I could also work heavily on in-class flipping as I have understood and developed it with my colleague @martharamirezco . I did many station rotation activities where my students had opportunities to practice the grammar in different ways. However interesting and enjoyable, this flip still wasn’t good enough for me!  

Sketchnote of the future tenses by Angi Perez and Mafe Salgado
Inspired by @sylviaduckworth
So this semester, 2017-2 I’m going for the flipped mastery model for the grammar component of my course. Very scary! But, very exciting. I’m really looking forward to seeing some good results out of this great experience. So, this is how I have framed it, because I’m no expert and this is the first time I’m trying this form of flipping.

  1. Students will use the same video playlists my past students designed (of course, I have permission!). I think peer-instruction is crucial for my students since they will be teachers! And as stated by Keck a d Kim as cited in Krulatz and Neokleous (2017), pre-service teachers’ beliefs of grammar teaching will be permeated by their own learning experiences, so in the hope that my students don’t graduate thinking they have to just lecture grammar structures, I vote for peer-instruction and video making.
  2. Students have the entire playlist for the course in our online platform. They also have grammar worksheets, websites and exercises to practice on their own.
  3. We will do grammar days or checkpoints where we will solve common problems experienced with certain grammar structures up to certain points in the course.
  4. Students will announce when they feel ready for taking the mastery check, which will be a communicative grammar quiz (still working on the design of these...daunting task!).
  5. Even though students are free to choose when to take the quiz to show mastery, I have been asking about how the process is going, how many grammar structures they’ve checked, but hey! We are ending the second week of the semester...there’s still time!

I haven’t thought about anything else this far. I just know students were really excited to hear they would be in-charge of deciding the pace of their learning. However, they also seemed scared the weight seemed to be on their shoulders and not on mine.

I’m really looking forward to our upcoming #FlipBlogs chat to hear from all of you, more experienced mastery teachers!

See you on the 16th!

Krulatz, A. and Neckleous, G. (in press) Loop Input in English Teacher Training: Contextualizing (pedagogical) Grammar in a Communicative Way. TEIS Newsletter. TESOL. US
Mazur, E. (1997) Peer-instruction: Getting students to think in class. CP399, The Changing Role of Physics Departments in Modern Universities: Proceedings of ICUPE, edited by E.F. Redish ad J.S.Rigden. The American Insitute of Physics. Pp. 981-988

Monday, January 2, 2017

You’re invited to the Electronic Village Online Session on Flipped Learning!

Every year, TESOL* educators around the world gather online for a period of 5 weeks with the intention of getting the best professional development, for free! This year, we, the flipped learning team, want to invite you to participate in our session, and why not in some of the other sessions offered. 

But what is EVO?

As stated in the EVO informative wiki, “The Electronic Village Online was first conceived as a project of TESOL’s Computer Assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS)”, and it has promoted hands-on workshops sessions given by TESOL experts around the globe since 2000. EVO sessions are free for all participants and feature a variety of topics for teachers who want to enhance their language classrooms with the use of technology.

On January 7th, 2017, the following EVO sessions will start:
  • ·         Classroom Based Research for Professional Development
  • ·         Design Thinking
  • ·         Developing Intercultural Competence Through the Use of Online Resources
  • ·         DIY Online Assessment
  • ·         EVO Minecraft MOOC 2017
  • ·         EVO ViLLAGE 2017
  • ·         Experiential Learning
  • ·         Flipped Learning
  • ·         ICT4ELT2017
  • ·         Moodle 4 Teachers
  • ·         Non-native English Speakers in TESOL
  • ·         QR Codes in Action
  • ·         Teaching Listening: Principles, Techniques, and Technologies
  • ·         Teaching Pronunciation Differently
  • ·         Techno-CLIL
  • ·         TEFL2YL

Volunteer moderators from all around the world offer high quality sessions and tons of learning to people enrolled. All of the offered sessions use a variety of platforms for communication with participants and for storing readings, videos and other resources and for holding synchronous sessions and adding the extra human component to the sessions! Sites like Schoology, Moodle, ANVILL and Blackboard are used by different sessions. Also, social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus offer a great array of communication opportunities between moderators and participants. And last but not least, synchronous communication also happens in some of the sessions via Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, WIZIQ, etc. So, as you can see, by joining an EVO session, you’d be adding yourself to a global discussion around educational issues of today in the teaching and learning of languages.

Flipped Learning EVO session 2017

The flipped learning EVO session has run for 3 years. It was started by Helaine W. Marshall from Long Island University (current member of the FLN board), John Graney from California, Jeff Magoto from the University of Oregon, Khalid Fheti from Morocco and Kevin Coleman from Kansas but located in Colombia. Then, in 2015, Carolina R. Buitrago from Colombia joined the moderating team and in 2017, Martha Ramírez also from Colombia, has. Martha and I have been active contributors of the FLN blog and we plan to continue being so this year. Lots of learning opportunities and amazing experiences with flipped learning in our country..

This year in our session, we plan to invite teachers to explore the contents of our session through the lens of the four pillars of flipped learning proposed by the FLN (2014). We will invite participants to lesson plan their own flipped learning class considering their context and limitations, we will also peer-review lesson plans to build knowledge together. We will explore in-class flip or in-flip as an alternative when technology is not available in students’ homes. And we will use our Google Plus space to discuss some pressing questions for EFL/ESL and TESOL, in general.

We will also have weekly synchronous sessions to discuss the week’s topics and highlights and we plan to have some amazing guest speakers this year. We have already gotten confirmation from Jon Bergmann, flipped learning pioneer, for January 22. We also plan to  have Helaine Marshall (member of the FLN board) and Robyn Brinks-Lockwood (Stanford professor and author of Flip it! Strategiesfor the ESL classroom  and we are hoping to have Ken Bauer (President of the FLN) again this year.

It would be a great honor for us, the flipped learning session team to count on you for our session. If you want to join, please click here before January 8th (Anyway, late enrollment is not a problem!). We look forward to having you there!

And we thank the Flipped Learning Network for supporting us and allowing us to share this information with all of you, the flipped learning community!

*Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages