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Irony of flipping

September 15, 2012

I am in my second year of flipping my writing class.  I keep reading posts on flipping where people criticize or complain about the technology.  For me, flipping my class has led to a decrease in the use of technology in my class.  I use technology; don’t get me wrong.  But before it involved PowerPoint presentations and Word.  Now, I use to annotate pdf files.  Usually I am putting the correct answers or having the students put the correct answers for the activities we do.  I find crocodoc a very useful tool, but it isn’t the central focus of the class.

My class looks something like this.  I bring in a short activity for review or start thinking about something new such as underlining the subjects in a paragraph.  While students work on that, I set up the computer and projector.  With everything going, I circulate and answer questions, tell students if they have a wrong answer so they can revise their responses.  When everyone or almost everyone is finished, we review the responses either orally or on the pdf on crocodoc or with the web exercise mirroring the in-class exercise I created in Hot Potatoes.  Then I review what we are doing for the week on the LMS before starting the next more in-depth activity that builds upon the videos I assigned.  We review the activity with the responses going on crocodoc.  I link to the crocodoc document so students can review the activity later if they wish to.  

Yes, I still use technology.  I use instead of a blackboard or whiteboard because I can record answers answers and keep them available for students to check later if they need to or for students who miss a class to study.  I don’t hit the students big time with PowerPoint or a Word document that I have to save and share and with the clumsiness of our LMS, the students may never avail themselves of.  The difference is the focus in the classroom is on the language we are working with not on the technology used to display the language.  I spend a lot more time with the students answering questions and suggesting ways to look at the difficulties they face in getting the language right than I did in front of the class showing off my PowerPoint chops.


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