Friday, February 8, 2013

Putting the learning from Innovate 2013 into practice

Flipped Classroom

After two full weeks of school following the Innovate 2013 conference, we can already see changes in practice that are a result of learning that took place at the conference.

One of them involves allowing students to become more independent learners, which makes classroom time more hands-on under teacher guidance. The teachers are creating screencasts (video recordings of teacher explanations) for student  The use screencasts to support student learning leads to flipped classrooms. The flipped classroom isn't new to Graded, but after Innovate other teachers have started experimenting with the practice. PFL teachers, for example, are beginning to explore the idea with the aim of generating a bank of screencasts from different teachers.

Gamification of Education
Another theme present at the conference was gamification of education.This Infographic provides some background on the term. 9th grade biology classes have started to explore this idea by following Paul Andersen's suggestion for game design to improve learning. Elements of game design used include "completing levels to acquire experience points and move up the leader board".  Edmodo and Google Spreadsheets are being utilized to gather and organize points/levels. On a similar trend, other game and flash card sites are also being explored like Quizlet and Zondle.

Learning Network on Twitter
Using Twitter to create personal learning communities was another recurrent theme at Innovate and several people have become excited about the tool. Aside from using Twitter to communicate with colleagues around the world,  one science teacher is beginning to explore how Twitter can be used as a space for asking questions and finding information about science. Several science hashtags are being explored  including #scichat. A hastag is a keyword that indicates the topic being discussed or explored by a group of people.

It's always exciting to see educators take what they've learned at conferences and immediately put them into practice.

Image Credit:
Classroom by James F Clay. Creative Commons Rights on Flickr. <>
El Grande by Chasing Imperfection. Creative Commons Rights on Flickr. <>
Twitter Typographic Wallpaper by Jez. Creative Commons Rights on Flickr. <>

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