Friday, 30 August 2013

Creating Content Resources for a Flipped Classroom

The concept of a Flipped Classroom isn’t a complex one. It simply means that students receive the content material at home and when in class, teachers help students to put the content into context. Now, the most common question is, “How do we provide the content for students to use at home?”  

There are many ways that this can be done. It can be as easy and simple as assigning articles and textbooks for students to read, to very complex videos. As long as students are receiving some content at home, and not being lectured in class, it can be called a flipped classroom.

Now, since I teach upper level mathematics, which requires some direct instruction, I chose the video route.

There are many options on how to create a video. My typical style is to have my notes on the computer screen and just have my voice recorded as I go through the notes. I have tried two ways of achieving this task. Using a program called Jing and Quicktime on the Mac. Both are free options and are simple to use. Here’s a comparison of two, based on my experience.

Jing vs Quicktime


-Can be stored online and share with a weblink (
- Concise. Only allows 5 min of recording which is excellent for student project to keep a time limit.

- Able to edit with the right apps
- Can easily change the file format to use in other mediums
- Able to view offline when downloaded

- Not editable
- File format cannot be changed for other use
- Storing online after a certain amount costs money
- Large file sizes to upload and download
- As the videos are built, larger storage space required

I found the Jing files much more useful when posting the videos on our school’s learning management system, such as wiki and Schoology. However, I ran into problems when I needed the recordings as an mp4 to upload it for my iTunes U course, so I’m having to re-screencast my Jing files with Quicktime. There is also a program called Camtasia that allows you to do both. You can edit, save as whatever file format you want, and be able to upload to for a web link to share, but the program has to be purchased and the storage space also needs to be purchased the same way that Jing does.

So, my advice is to really think about how you would like to manage your files with your students and choose the route that is more suitable for your needs and what your budget allows.

Here's an example of one of my screencasts. Clicking on the image will take you the link of the video at

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Birth of My Flipped Classroom

I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. Growing up, lining up my toys as students while using my bedroom wall with chalk, pretending to be a teacher was my favourite past time. Most of my teenage years, I wanted to be a music teacher. I always loved music and instruments always fascinated me. Then in my 11th grade, I fell in love with Chemistry. That was it. Decision was made. I was going to be a Chemistry teacher. So, how did I end up being a Math teacher? I was fairly good at math in high school. It was a subject that was easily digested for my overly logical and linear brain. So the last two years of my high school career I was taking more math classes than anything else. By the time graduation came around, I was so very sick of Chemistry but still quite enjoyed math. So... math teacher it is.

I spent the first 13 years of my teaching career being very content and confident with the kind of teacher I was. Students learned well from my classes and I always got positive feedback. Then one day, early on in my 14th year, something didn’t feel right. Class time felt tight and it was stressing my students out and in turn, stressing me out. My enthusiasm for teaching was dwindling. My principal walked in to casually observe my class. I saw myself through his eyes and I didn’t like what I saw. I quickly fell into depression. Questioned myself as an educator and even contemplated giving up teaching. I was very unhappy and was ready to throw in the towel. I consulted with few of my peers, mostly venting my frustration and after two weeks of that, my flipped classroom was born.

Flipped Classroom in Action