Flipping the SWITCH!

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Earlier this year I started participating in a Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership course titled ‘Leading School Improvement’ with my College Principal and the 4 other College Educational Leaders.

Having never ‘done’ a Bastow course before I was excited about what new learning this adventure would bring and in the short amount of time i’ve been involved it has been a great experience and a massive learning curve.

Now rather than talk about my experiences throughout the course, which I am sure i’ll end up doing in another post anyway, I am wanting to share the amazing project that has stemmed from the course itself, and that being the SWITCH Pilot Program.

The SWITCH Program is based on a flipped learning / flipped classroom approach where we have a number of super keen teachers and overly excited learning communities of students extending on their learning via the short, sharp and explicit videos teachers are developing.

If you’re not all that familiar with what flipped learning is, this great little video explains it perfectly;

As mentioned we have a number of learning communities involved in the pilot program, all of which thus far have been awesome in engaging with what is expected of them and and adding to their already busy schedules to ensure that this program is the success we want it to be.

As a platform to engage with the created videos we have used of course YouTube for its ease of use and high level accessibility. From here we have created playlists that teachers upload to which relate to the College campus that the students are situated at.

From the data that we hope to gather we will use this to determine the actual quantitative improvement on student learning and then use this as a basis to go some at at determining the overall success of the program.

In having discussed the potential pitfalls and hindrances that may arise via having carried out an in-depth and detailed risk analysis, we then determined how we believed that this program would improve student learning and just a few of these outcomes are below;

  • By having students build on their prior knowledge through developing the skills and competencies needed via selected misconceptions that have been identified via pre unit assessments.
  • By extending the learning day and not limiting students to learning only between the hours of 9am and 3pm. That by giving students access to components of a lesson that they necessarily do not get at home, such as teacher instruction, that learning can take place more often out of the school setting.
  • “Lower teacher talk” in class. We know that teachers can ‘waffle’ and waffle for lengthy periods of time. We feel that through the development and creation of the flipped videos this will be dramatically reduced and even in some instances cease entirely.
  • Promote co-teaching amongst staff who are creating these videos in tandem. This also opens up professional dialogue about assessment, moderations, and effective planning procedures to ensure more students are being catered for more often, with greater purpose and individualisation.
  • We believe that collaboration amongst students will increase dramatically whilst in class. The viewing of the videos and learning experiences set for the students will certainly encourage this.
  • Lastly, we believe that we will be able to reach more students more often. By giving students greater time in class to learn via those valuable experiences that are planned for them, teachers will be able to spend greater amounts of time teaching and less time talking.

The image below created by New Zealand Educator Richard Wells (@ipadwells) is a great visual, albeit I find a little stereotyped, about just who teachers are really pitching to during instruction time.

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I am certainly hoping that I’ll be able to re-post about this program and share the findings from it. I believe it will succeed. The teachers and students involved also believe that it will succeed and because of this, we’ll see student data improve and student learning growth also increase. Time will tell and I am no futurist but I am feeling only good things will come from this!

Lastly, publicity is always a good thing and this week we had the Geelong Advertiser come about and visit us to discuss the program and what it entailed. From this we were given a half page spread and have since received amazing feedback from our wider College community. This article is below.

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To access our SWITCH YouTube Channel, click on the LINK HERE!!! Feedback welcome!

 

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