Archive for December 2011

The Interactive Lecture... Delivery Part 2

A few years ago I studied Classroom Presenter 3 and wrote my masters thesis on tech enhanced interactive lectures. CP3 is an amazing piece of open source software that creates a dynamic interactive student centered conversation in the classroom and in my opinion would make a killer app for the iPad (anyone want to develop it?) The incredible thing about CP3 is that it takes a teacher centered static powerpoint and allows for student input, instant feedback, and an ability to diverge from the linear path of a ppt slide show.

I mention this because video lectures are the foundation of flipped instruction, a style of instruction that I am very fond of and feel compelled to pursue in light of 1:1 iPads. In addition, I am keenly aware of how, like powerpoint, video lectures run the risk of creating a non interactive didactic teacher centered delivery.

This forces many questions. How does a video become interactive? Should video lessons just be explorations that ask questions? Is it best practice to use video to guide students through notes and example problems? How do you ensure students are listening to the lecture and not just copying notes? Are there editing tricks or guided note tricks that make a video more interactive and increase student participation?

Being a math teacher I want my students to see mathematical relationships, recognize mathematical patterns, and learn properties of shapes, functions, and graphs. However, I also recognize that it is important to model problem solving techniques by providing examples that the teacher walks through.

So where does that leave me? As of today I think I am somewhere in the middle of all this. My notes require students to answer questions based off what was said in the video but they also contain examples some completed for them others only partially completed. Here is a sample of where I am at with my vodcasting I like to call em Mathflix. I don't have an allusions of grandeur thinking that I can offer subscriptions for $7.99/month I just thought it was a fun name.

I am interested in your thoughts on how to make videos interactive. Feel free to leave your comments.

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How the iPad Changes the Learning Environment. Part 1 Delivery

Last year at this time the most technological piece of equipment in my room was an overhead projector. Transparencies, wet erase markers, paper towel scraps all over, and blue fingers from quick licking and erasing all add up to equal a pretty static and one-size-fits-all teacher centered instruction. Students typical class consisted of a warm-up, homework check, a lecture, guided practice and independent work time (if there was time left in the hour). If there were still problems from the book left to complete the students were assigned to finish them at home. As far as I know this was a pretty well accepted and wide practiced approach to learning.

Since then my learning environment has completely changed. iPads are exceptional at delivering content and personalizing instruction. Being absolutely compelled to check out epub creations I have fully dove into creating interactive notes using video lectures created on my laptop, photos edited by skitch, embedded voice prompts recorded in garage band, and active links to sites that will track and record student progress (more to come on interactive text in future posts). I know there is plenty of room for improvement in this content delivery style but when I think about how this can help personalize instruction and give instant student feedback I can't help but to think this is good and the right direction to move in.

This style of delivery is often referred to as flipped instruction. I have lots of thoughts on flipped instruction and personally I have really been excited about this style and what it has allowed for in the learning environment. Here too, there is tons of room for improvement with integrating this approach and making it really effective for my students. However, at this point in it's implementation I can honestly say I will never go back to a static stand and deliver a-one-size-fits-all lecture.

The other day it struck me that students were having instruction personalized on many different levels. Some were working ahead watching and listening to future lectures and practicing problems in sections the rest of the class was not. Some were catching up on lectures not yet watched trying to keep up with the class. Some were reviewing concepts via video they had already viewed and some were getting direct personal face to face just-in-time-teaching from me.

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