Ditching homework was not just the best thing for my pupils but also for me. No longer do I have to listen to the whining and whinging of students going out the door at the end of the period with comments “Sir, you have just ruined my night”, “Sir, I don’t really understand what I need to do”. To be honest, I think I did ruin their nights with worksheets that didn’t really have any learning intentions and follow up from the lesson just taught. Mind you, the lesson was just a lecture given from a PowerPoint. OMG! Just reading what I have written about my old teaching style just makes me cringe!
I then came across a teaching strategy called “Flipped Learning” by accident after picking up a local paper in my schools’ staff room. The whole “Flipped Learning” sounded interesting and innovative, so I investigated!
In a “flipped” class structure, students complete the traditional aspects of schoolwork at home through online technologies such as videos, podcasts and interactive forums. Now my students were doing something at home which was relevant to their learning and learning intentions.
I then started creating my own videos to make it more personal. The kids seemed to like my wacky sense of humour but more importantly, they took down notes from what I was saying instead of copying from a textbook.
Homework became relevant and students took it more seriously knowing that the work they were doing at home was relevant to their learning. This made an incredible difference.
This then gave me an opportunity to target the core concepts in class and spend more time one on one with students guiding them through the learning process. I then saw our student and teacher relationship rise. Soon I used the SOLO Taxonomy strategy which started the #flipsolo technique.
This technique allowed students to go at their own pace. They can repeat lessons, stop when they were not sure and restart. They could go back and revisit anything they wanted to hear again. They had a resource that they can go back to for study. So if the next week they don’t understand a concept, they can go re-watch the video. This was differentiated learning at its best. I then included formative assessment within videos just to ensure that they understood what I was talking about. For this I used EdPuzzle. See edpuzzle.com
To me, it’s a strategy that is designed to teach students to be a 21st-century learner and thinker. They can learn anywhere and at any time now, on mobile phones, laptops, etc. Now here is a justification for those BYOD schools!