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Thursday, October 16, 2014

#flippedclass #apgov

I began flipping my AP Gov class last school year.  I decided to flip the entire thing so there would be some more consistency for the students.  At first, I really thought that the asynchronous method would be the best way to encourage deeper student exploration into the curriculum.  Unfortunately, that was a miscalculation on my part.  I underestimated the rigidity that the AP students were used to in their other courses.  Flipping the class and using the asynchronous method caused a revolt by my students.  I stepped back and took a good look at what I was trying to accomplish and decided that if I wanted to flip (and I really did) I needed to focus on that part and then work the asynchronous method in.  Things smoothed out after that and I was able to flip the class and see success on test scores (not my favorite, but school mandated) and a deeper understanding of the information by my students.  There ability to interact with the information on a deeper level and with more frequency really paid off in the end.

This year, the district switched from Moodle to @schoology and that has transitioned the class to an even greater place.  @schoology allows for my workflow and theirs to be streamlined.  It allows me to give instant feedback via a grade from the interactive, live rubric and to comment on their submitted assignments.  It also allows greater access to my video lessons because I do not have to rely on YouTube, which is blocked at school.  The fact that both the students and I are able to access everything via  mobile device gives access to students on bus trips to soccer games and while on college trips.  No longer are they missing instruction, reinforcement activities and assignments just because they are an over scheduled teenager who needs to decide what path to take next year as they head off on their next life journey.

An additional piece that has made class more of a collaborative environment is the use of Google Docs and Padlet.  The students comment to me almost everyday that being able to work with their partner and not have to be in the same place at the same time fits their hectic lifestyle and late nights much easier.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't hear a student musing as to how much help this is going to be next year and how it has changed the way that they view their workflow.

Looking forward to more adventures!  Talk to you soon!

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