Have you been hearing about a new (technically a few years old) way of doing conferences called the unconference? Admittedly, they are informal events, sometimes on a Saturday, and the success of them is based largely on who attends, who has knowledge of proposed topics, and the willingness of attendees to not only listen and learn, but contribute too. The popularity of Edcamps, a type of professional development for educators, originated from social media connections. Get an insider’s view of what makes these events tick, and what kind of usability we could consider here in Central Minnesota. Go to the full article on SmartBlog on Education, 10/30/2012.
A recent Star Tribune article, Internet Flips the Idea of How to Teach a Class, highlighted the efforts of some local college professors and instructors utilizing the flipped classroom method in their classrooms. Not only is this article (and its information) local, but it also details some of the successes and failures of this new teaching method. In addition, a recent study of 720 physics professors showed that at least 72 percent had tried various interactive teaching methods (like those that are a part of the flipped classroom); however, at least a third of those instructors tried — and eventually stopped using interactive methods. Some cite push back from students in the flipped classroom, as well as little support for instructors once they’ve “made the switch”. Ongoing support, continuing education, and access to professional resources is a must for forward-thinking instructors who have gotten up the gumption to attempt the flipped classroom.