We used a website that I've been told is relatively new to the Web 2.0 world. It is called EdCanvas, and it is great. Just to play with the features, I made an Oklahoma EdCanvas. I think this kind of approach could really change the way teachers teach and the way that students learn. I know that this expectation may be a bit much for some students, but what if they could take the time in class being guided through application of the knowledge instead of sponging up the knowledge and being expected to have it become meaningful to them. We remember what is meaningful for us to remember. It is meaningful because it's knowledge we use in some way. Too often the application of the knowledge stage of learning is not reached in the classroom. They apply the knowledge to answering a test question and nothing more.
There are pressures on teachers to differentiate their teaching to meet the needs of their students. These needs usually vary so much that it can feel impossible to reach them all. If I could make an EdCanvas group of media that could teach a concept, I could spend class time allowing students to practice these concepts in class with one another and helping the students to solidify the concepts. I can see how this approach might be very doable in a class of motivated learners or with students with home support, but I can also see that it may present challenges with classes of students that struggle with motivation. It would be interesting to see if motivation increases if classroom experiences are more student-driven and less teacher-driven.
I'm sure the flipped approach would take some adjustment, but I can see technology really taking on the role of addressing these challenges. There's some extra work on the front end (recording lectures/preparing content), but I think in the end this could really help students have more meaningful classroom experiences. It also teaches students to become the primary stake holder in their learning, which can help develop habits that will make them more successful in future academic experiences. In EdCanvas, the teacher can see how much time the students spend in each part of the EdCanvas lesson, which provides the accountability needed to help those resistant students transition to having more responsibility in their learning. Here's my friend, Jared Ward's EdCanvas about how to use this tool. It's an interesting time to be in education, that's for sure.