I fought back and forth with myself about attending #flipcon12 virtually this week. I’ve never done a virtual conference before. What if my (generally poor) internet gives out, and I end up watching two days of “Buffering…” messages? What if the conference ends up not being what I wanted–or needed? What if I’m the only one watching? I had a hard time deciding if $100 was worth it on a gamble.
Then I came down with bronchitis.
Being to sick to work or go out means you will be subjected to days of the worst programming daytime TV has to offer. Even with my high fever (102.6!) and being fully medicated, I whipped the Visa out.
And I’m so glad I did. The conference was fantastic and far exceeded my expectations. The streaming video was just about flawless, and I hooked my laptop up to the flat-screen TV to watch it even bigger and louder. The sessions were excellent and the presenters definitely knew their stuff. All of the keynotes featured exceptional speakers and engaging presentations. And not only that, the sessions are archived until December, so not only can I go back and watch the presentations again, I can even watch the sessions I didn’t get to see! I had a great time Tweeting and learning with everyone and its pretty much a slam dunk that I will be participating virtually next year.
Whether or not I will be able to successfully implement flipped-classroom practices in my classroom next year remains to be seen.
First, the physical location of my classroom is very much still up in the air. I was expecting to be using a computer lab for my one class but I was assigned a regular room with just one student computer. I plan on asking for a hybrid room that has 8 computers, but who knows how that request will turn out. If I have identified any weaknesses in flipping, it seems to be access to technology at school, and this could be big.
Second, the tasks associated with flipping are no joke. I am not an experienced video editor and I prefer not to be on-camera anyway, but I understand the advantages of doing this now so I will be learning Video 101 myself this summer. Flipping your class seems to prompt a full review and overhaul of your lessons. I’m creating this whole course from scratch anyway, but that’s still got to be factored in.
And then there’s the time factor. I am only teaching one class every other day next year and will be keeping all of my regular duties as technology coordinator. How much time do I need to be spending going over the top on what is, bluntly, not my job?
The Flipped Conference helped me understand these questions but I know enough to know that there are no easy answers! Oh, and we start back on July 31, so time is slipping away! I will be thinking hard about these questions in the coming weeks.
Note: I wrote this whole post from my phone, so please forgive the occasional typo.
Ever since I found out in going to be teaching a class next year, I’ve been checking out the flipped class model. I have been more than a little skeptical that this was more than just the flavor of the month in education; however, the more I’ve seen, the more I think there might be something to it. I have looked at a few examples of flipped classrooms and I like what I have seen. I also participated in a webinar this week that was very practical and down-to-earth and I am encouraged. I’m looking forward to looking into this more over the summer.