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Making the Change

how_we_do2I was asked after the presentations in class about how I would plan to change an entire schools operating system and plans that would need to be put in place as a result to cater for this change. This made me think, I had not considered just how this change would affect an entire school. Initially approval by state governing bodies would be needed before any state school could be allowed to use it, making sure the system operated safely. There would also need to be some collaboration into how the program would be interphase or even used so as not to disrupt the schools already existing way of functioning.

Initially if a school were to accept the Neo Operating System then there would need to be a few days where technicians would work with the school teck staff to help align and install, making sure it is functioning well before the students return back to school. After which there would need to be a master class for all teachers to give them a crash course in operating and navigating the new program. This would be done by a member of the Neo team who would spend 1 – 2 days explaining and providing information or a “crash-course”. This is as the teachers would then need to explain how the students need to use it in their lessons

OR

There could be a trial period, this would be done to provide the school with an idea of how it can be used and if it would work in their school before purchasing the program, selecting a variety of the classes from the school to do a trial period and see if the students liked its easy access and straight forward operating system. This trial period would most likely be done as an early involvement in schools before to help our developers change anything if necessary and then start simply offering it as a product.

The beta testing is in

It was an honour for me on Monday to pitch Learn at Home, Teach at School (LAHTAS) to the shark tank at the festival of ideas.  It was also really uplifting to hear from the other speakers on how passionate they were about their great ideas.

Overall I believe there was a positive acceptance of my idea however, there were a few suggestions which I will certainly be taking on board.  These included the instant messenger feature as well as its similarity to some other products.

sam-gross-in-order-to-be-free-i-had-to-make-certain-adjustments-new-yorker-cartoon

What will be under review?

Instant messenger feature

  • As already alluded by my fellow colleagues the amount of time and effort to maintain this feature from a teacher would be too much
  • Therefore, it was proposed that if the students had a particular time frame in which they can contact their teacher it may be more feasible
  • Another option is to create a message feature like emails within the program thus reducing the need for further programs

Similarity between rival products

  • Another point that was brought up in the festival was the similarity between blackboard
  • Learn at home teach at school will have similar features to that of blackboard however, LAHTAS has video creating, editing and sharing capabilities within the application.
  • I believe the key selling point to this product is the ease of having everything in one place, and no need to save files or information in separate places
  • Thus making it easier to find and save work
  • LAHAS seems to be a product which draws inspiration from other products

Once again it was a pleasure to have feedback on my idea from some prestigious guests.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this process creating LAHTAS and i still look forward to hearing your further feedback.  I wish all my other colleagues the best of luck with some of their great ideas that will hopefully make production.

A festival of ideas, LAHTAS keynote speech

Firstly, thank you and welcome guests to this festival of ideas.  It’s great to be here at this prestigious location and it was an honor to be a keynote speaker at this event.  My great idea concerns the teaching technique of the flipped classroom. Where you can flip the traditional thought of teaching as you can see from the screen.  My idea is a web based program with app capabilities to assist this.  Students will have access to class resources and videos from their teachers, and an ease of communication between their teachers.  It also allows for video editing capabilities for the teacher with in application saving and uploading.  For marketing sake I’ve called it Learn at Home, Teach at School, or LAHTAS for short.

Doing some quick searches on the internet, there didn’t seem to be a dedicated application to a flipped classroom.  Many sites suggested the 10 best apps to aid a flipped classroom based on what teachers themselves use.  Some of these applications included, Dropbox, Blackboard and probably the most used application is YouTube.

What makes LAHTAS stand out from the competitors is the ability to draw upon previous program features with some its own key features.  To start off, there is an ability for students to be in contact with the teachers 24/7 with an instant message system.  They will be able to receive immediate feedback on key learning points from the videos or class topics.  Secondly, as most if not all devices now contain a camera, teachers are able to create, edit and share their videos within the system.  There would be no need for third party programs to save separate files in different locations, it would all be done in a ‘cloud’ like feature.

Engaging in professional discussion with my fellow BHSPE colleagues, there was a mutual agreeance on how beneficial having everything in one place was.  The fact that students when studying for exams and doing homework tasks are able to access class resources at home is a valuable asset.  In terms of the cloud feature, they thought this would be very beneficial for assessment pieces, this is something which I didn’t consider.  It was suggested that the students are able to upload their submissions, rather than a hard copy, allows them to gain feedback comments online from their teacher and then utilising the instant messenger feature to clarify any comments or questions.  This would be a quicker and easier way than handing back a hard copy of their reviewed assessment then having to wait for the next lesson to gain clarification.

In closing, this product I believe has many beneficial qualities for both teachers and students.  The ability of teachers having their students arriving to class with the key topics already learnt can lead to enhanced learning opportunities.  For example, teachers could then bridge the gap between the theory and prac barriers in HPE.  If students were to have prior knowledge on training principles for example, they could then use their class time to demonstrate and get hands on experience with the activities and create further class discussion.

Once again I would like to thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the festival.

It’s out there, these are your thoughts

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Learn at Home, Teach at School is now officially out there, and I couldn’t be happier to hear some of your feedback.  I wanted to get your perspective and thoughts on LAHTAS, so I asked some of my fellow colleagues what they thought.

There was a mutual agreeance on how beneficial having everything in one place.  The fact that students when studying for exams and doing homework tasks are able to access class resources at home is a valuable asset.  The time saving factor for teachers as well with having all their video editing tools and software in one place was also mentioned.  In terms of the cloud feature, they thought this would be very beneficial for assessment pieces, this is something which I didn’t consider.  It was suggested that the students are able to upload their submissions, rather than a hard copy, allows them to gain feedback comments online from their teacher and then utilising the instant messenger feature to clarify any comments or questions.  This would be a quicker and easier way than handing back a hard copy of their reviewed assessment then having to wait for the next lesson to gain clarification.

The one feature that they seemed to admire was the instant message feature.  My colleagues thought that the instant messenger was a great idea in gaining quick responses from the teacher to the students however, it requires extra maintenance by the teacher.  If the teacher was to have 5 classes with 25 students per class, having each student message the teacher would create too much extra work.  Some suggestions were to have emails or notification when there are incoming messages to sort them into categories based on what the students ask.  Nonetheless, if the teacher is receiving the same topic of responses they would then be able to direct their lesson to address that issue.

The next time you will hear from me is at the festival of ideas where I’ll pitch my revised digital idea to the guest audience.  I look forward to seeing you all there.

How LAHTAS came to design

Untitled Infographic (1)

Flipped classrooms is becoming an increasingly popular technique for teaching (Hotle & Garrow, 2015).  By doing a quick search online, there are many different software and programs that assist teachers to facilitate a flipped classroom.  These include YouTube (a video sharing program), Dropbox (a resource sharing program), Poll Everywhere (teachers gain feedback through polls/questionnaires in class) and Blackboard (an e-learning system) (Dunn, 2015).  There doesn’t seem to be a program that is dedicated to a flipped classroom.  Teachers are either having to use separate programs to firstly film, then edit and then post their videos.  Not only this, but then to organise class materials for the students to use and engage with in class and be able to easily distribute them requires another program. This is where LAHTAS came to mind.  A web based program with app capabilities combining the key features that teachers need to facilitate a flipped classroom in one program.  I’ve done lots of planning and the above infographic outlays my thought process.

I would love to hear your feedback on my idea and any considerations i may have missed.

 

References

Dunn, J. (2013, April 6). The 10 Best Web Tools For Flipped Classrooms. Retrieved from Edudemic: http://www.edudemic.com/web-tools-for-flipped-classrooms/

Hotle, S. L., & Garrow, L. A. (2015). Effects of the Traditional and Flipped Classrooms on Undergraduate Student Opinions and Success. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, Retrieved from: http://ascelibrary.org.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/doi/10.1061/%28ASCE%29EI.1943-5541.0000259.

 

 

Learn at Home, Teach at School

Flipped-Classroom-Webinar-1200

A new way to facilitate a flipped classroom

Previously, I’ve spoken about how teachers facilitate a flipped classroom.  Most teachers use programs such as YouTube or Blackboard (Carstens & Sheehan, 2014), and they have their own strengths and weaknesses.  There doesn’t seem to be one program just dedicated to a flipped classroom.  Teachers are having to use multiple programs just to video, edit and upload their class videos.

What I propose is a website, including an app basing, program dedicated solely to assist teachers facilitate a flipped classroom.  The name of this program is called ‘Learn at Home, Teach at School’, or ‘LAHTAS’ for short.

Some of the key features for LAHTAS is a combination from other sources such as Blackboard, Dropbox and YouTube.  These include:

  • Easy access to class content (videos, notes etc.) for students
  • The ability to upload and share resources amongst students and teacher
    • A ‘cloud’ like feature for students to edit group work or work on online class activities
  • The ability for the teacher to create in class quizzes and get immediate feedback
    • Assessment (formative and summative)
  • Access for students to watch the uploaded videos by their teacher

However, to set LAHTAS apart from its competitors there are some additional features to help aid students and assist teachers.

Carstens and Sheehan (2014) stated that students generally take a while to adapt to the process for a flipped classroom.  There are some other features to this idea which will assist students into the transition to using a flipped classroom.  The main feature being a 24/7 instant messenger feature between students as well as their teacher.  This will allow the teacher to receive immediate feedback from their students on key learning points from their video lessons.  Furthermore, it provides students with a fast and easy way for them to contact their teacher or ask for peer advice on topics such as class content, assessment requirements/dates and if they are having problems with the flipped classroom technique.  However, this program also has features to assist teacher to facilitate a flipped classroom.

Students prefer videos where they are short, have high quality and possesses some backing music (Carstens & Sheehan, 2014).  LAHTAS will have video recording and editing imbedded within the program.  As most, if not all, devices have a camera, teachers will now be able to record and edit their video within the website without having the need to use a separate program.

 

I look forward to your thoughts and views on LAHTAS, and any improvements that i may have not mentioned or thought of.

 

References

Carstens, F. J., & Sheehan, M. (2014). Triumphs and Tribulations of the Flupped Classroom: A High School Teacher’s Perspective. In J. Keengwe, G. Onchwari, & J. N. Oigara, Promoting Active Learning Through the Flipped Classroom Model (pp. pp. 91-112). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4987-3.

 

How do teachers already facilitate a flipped classroom?

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In previous posts, I’ve mentioned how there is a lack of resources available to assist teachers facilitate a flipped classroom, hence the reason why I proposed my website/app dedicated to the flipped classroom.  However, there are some similar applications which possess some of the same qualities as my idea.  These include, but are not limited to: YouTube, Blackboard and Dropbox.

YouTube-logo-full_color

YouTube is an online video sharing service where its users upload videos and can share it’s amongst the world.  Many teachers that use the flipped classroom technique use YouTube as a resource.  However, it can also be used as a distraction to the students, as they can easily get side-tracked with recommended videos being displayed in the side bar.  Furthermore, if the video is on a sensitive topic, inappropriate videos could then be recommended to the students.

Blackboard_Logo_235x227

Blackboard is an e-learning system that allows online learning experiences, assessment resource and learning material resources on a web-based application.  It also allows for students and teachers to communicate online and provide online assessment items such as tests and electronic submission.  Many schools have already been using the Blackboard system, providing students with course readings and class materials.

dropbox-logo

Dropbox is an online storage/sharing service, which allows its users to save documents and files online to be readily available.  If you are a member of a particular group within Dropbox, you can upload and download any files that members upload.  These files can then be changed by other members and the updated versions can be downloaded and viewed.  However, it lacks to communication tools such as the ones used in blackboard.

 

These applications all share the same principle of being able to access content freely and instantly.  However the major difference between these, in a flipped classroom scenario, is the ability to communicate between teacher and student.  My idea is a combination of some of these applications, drawing on the ability to instantly share video and resources and communicate between the students.  More specifically, the ability of students to have quick communication access to their teacher, also making the website more student friendly.  Stay tuned for next week’s blog which will outline this resource.

How to facilitate a Flipped Classroom

It’s no secret, the key to an easier experience teaching is to planning and preparation.  Teachers spend majority of their time planning lessons and this is more evident in a flipped classroom.  Teachers need to be able to use time to firstly, plan the lesson and then record a short video before each lesson, with enough time for the students to be able to view them.

To facilitate a flipped classroom, the teacher needs to be able to record and upload their lesson prior to the students arriving to class.  There are many different web and app based programs out there to assist teachers to facilitate a flipped classroom.  By doing a quick internet search, Dunn (2013) has proposed the 10 best web tools to facilitate a flipped classroom.  These include some applications that many teachers use including YouTube to upload their videos (Carstens & Sheehan, 2014), Wikispace, Poll Everywhere, Screencast and Dropbox.  However, each program has its own key features that others may lack.  For example YouTube has the video sharing capabilities that many students are familiar with however, lacks the resource sharing feature that Dropbox provides.  Teachers generally have to use a range of applications to provide a flipped classroom.  There doesn’t seem to be one program that is solely dedicated to assisting teachers facilitate a flipped classroom.

IMG_ThePush_2014_0214_FlippedClassroom-1

A solution to this problem is to generate a website, which allows teachers ease to upload videos and content material and allow students easy access to these resources.  Carstens and Sheehan (2014) stated that the flipped classroom takes a while for the students to adapt to the process, and this website could ease students into the routine with limited content and progressively increase the number of accessories/tools.

Another feature to this website would allow for teachers to be able to create and edit their videos instantaneously.  Carstens and Sheehan (2014) found that students preferred some background music to their videos with short capped video lengths.  Another feature would allow teachers to see which students have viewed the video and paused at which concept to be able to specifically focus their lesson on that particular concept.  Having the feature of instant chat, will allow students to ask questions to the teacher with immediate feedback.

 

Leave your thoughts on the idea below or if there are any other features that could be utilised?

 

References:

Carstens, F. J., & Sheehan, M. (2014). Triumphs and Tribulations of the Flupped Classroom: A High School Teacher’s Perspective. In J. Keengwe, G. Onchwari, & J. N. Oigara, Promoting Active Learning Through the Flipped Classroom Model (pp. pp. 91-112). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4987-3.

Dunn, J. (2013, April 6). The 10 Best Web Tools For Flipped Classrooms. Retrieved from Edudemic: http://www.edudemic.com/web-tools-for-flipped-classrooms/

HPE and the Glass Slipper..

If I were to go onto the popular online job search engine SEEK and plug in the terms ‘teaching aides & special needs’ I would get an immediate response. An immediate response of 97 available positions right at my fingertips. And get this – those 97 results were from August ALONE. Now that’s something to think about, wouldn’t you agree?

Australia-wide there is a huge appreciation for the work teacher aides and teacher assistants do for schools, especially their involvement with special needs students. The one-on-one attention teaching assistants provide for students is a valuable source of support. However, there is growing frustration with the lack of resourcing – little aide assistance, inadequate facilities and scarce funding – in Australian schools. The limited aide support, which has such positive influences on both the students with special needs and their teachers, is a result of schools having to juggle budgets to provide for the needs of all students and all faculties. In such a competitive environment, teacher aides are assigned to classroom subjects and PE becomes the Cinderella of the curriculum and is not given support time. Does this mean physical education lessons are not valuable enough to warrant their presence?

Organizations such as the Australian Association of Special Education (AASE) believe that it isn’t appropriate to develop educational models for students with special requirements that primarily depend on assistance and support from teacher aides. Giangreco and Broer (2005) suggest alternative models that instead focus on involving special educators and teacher aides as additional tools for student learning and development, rather than being the primary providers of such programs. Teacher aides are not intended to take complete responsibility for the education of all special needs students, and inclusion must still remain an important factor in general lesson structure and preparation. Just as teacher aides should be a support for the teacher – not a substitute for teachers, associated pedagogies and inclusive practices.

Have a read and answer the poll below – Should teacher aides be regarded as additional support? Or form the backbone of special needs education?

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