Phoney Flipping aka Phlipping

Today I had a class that I was a bit too scared to flip with! I just knew that no matter what sanctions I applied, very few of them would do the home learning and watch the video on the Conditional Tense that I had created, which would then scupper the plans I would have for the rest of the lesson. The lack of technology available to me would mean that I could not have had all of the ‘red’ pathway students watching the video in lesson and then carrying on with the remaining tasks – it would have just been too much – and too many students would have no idea what we were doing.

So, I decided to use one of the techniques that I discussed with some primary colleagues – watching the video together in lesson. I produced a worksheet for them to fill in as they watched, which detailed the rules of the conditional tense and irregular verbs, which then put them in a good position to apply the rules for themselves and move towards applying the rule to our own context (which, in the case, is all about ideal holidays).

Most children seemed to engage quite well with the video (they were certainly a lot more silent than if I were standing at the front of the room attempting to explain it!) and most of them quickly became used to using the notes that they had made to check verb endings and irregular stems, so all in all I think it was a success.


Not quite flipping, I know, but more of a phoney flip or phlip!

SAMR ideas and tasks

Last night I received an email from a colleague asking for some advice and suggestions on how to develop her colleagues’ understanding of the SAMR model. She has cleverly divided her CPD groups into those that are more and those that are less confident with technology and she wants to take the next step and push the ‘higher’ group to come up with tasks that fit the Modification and Redefinition element of the SAMR model (Puentadura).

This lead me to thinking about what tasks in MFL can fit under these headings, and then I realised that these types of tasks are completely content free and can be done by any subject area. I asked on twitter, and the lovely #mfltwitterati came up with a few ideas as well (thanks to @joedale and @lancslassrach).

The main types of activities that I think fit well into this model are ones which allow students to use technology to enable the students to create something which represents the learning that has taken place (this could be an audio file, a presentation, a video or a poster) . Up until this point you could argue that technology has just augmented an activity that could previously have been carried out on paper or orally. However, by creating it digitally, pupils can share this work with the teacher and/or the class and this immediately moves us into the world of modification (where the tech allows for significant task redesign), as different medias could also be woven together. For example, imagine the poster creating site Glogster was used. In Glogster students can use a variety of audiovisual materials to create an interesting and worthwhile piece of work. However, in order to move to the Redefinition level of SAMR this task could be displayed online for all students to see and pupils can comment on each other’s work, collating the feedback in one place. A powerful tool, and reaching the upper limits of SAMR at the same time, creating a real purpose to using technology.

The discussion on twitter centered around the idea of App Smashing as a further way of modifying or redefining the use of technology. For those of you who are new to this term , App Smashing is when you merge content from a variety of apps. @lancslassrach has written about some things that she has done over on her blog and she mentions @ipadwells‘ video which you can watch here. I am yet to try this, but think it could be a very exciting way forwards!

In addition, I would argue the if you chose to flip your classroom, then you are modifying and redefining how technology is used within this context. The idea of flipped learning is not necessarily new, as previously, students have been encouraged to read chapters of a book or to research something before their lesson, but the development of technology has allowed us not only to create more engaging material, but to assess what students know before they even walk in the room – an amazingly useful tool that has certainly redefined what I do in a lesson that starts with a flip.

A Guest Appearance

Early in January I wrote a guest post for José Picardo’s Box of Tricks Blog, along with a few other MFL teachers from a wide range of backgrounds. The one thing that we all have in common is the belief that technology can enhance both teaching and learning.

José has kindly collated all of our contributions into one, easily accessible document, which can be read here:

Did you know?

Many thanks to Chris Betcher for posting this video on his blog where he says “

I wonder if Karl Fisch knew what he was starting when he made the original “Did You Know?” PowerPoint file for his staff at Arapahoe High School back in early 2007.  Fisch just wanted to share a few thoughts about a fast changing world with his fellow teachers, but by posting a copy to his blog it got picked up by others who found it fascinating, it went completely viral, has been made into several versions, has been remixed and modified many times, and its many incarnations have now been viewed many millions of times on YouTube and other online video sites.  All of this really speaks about the power of the web to help spread ideas…”

Here is version 4.0, enjoy: