Reflections on the Year in the Flipped Class
It is that time of year when people take stock in the previous year and think about what the next year will hold. This past week has been one of those weeks. For me, personally, it has been a year of great change. Aaron Sams and I finished a book, our family moved across the country, I left the classroom after 24 years, my first child graduated from high school and started college, I completed an ironman triathlon, I started my new job as a technology facilitator, and I have continued to speak/write about the flipped class. Just writing this makes me tired.
And the flipped class has grown and changed over the course of this year. At this time last year, Aaron Sams and I were writing our book. We submitted the book to our publisher on February 15th. Many have asked about the book and when it will be released. Little did we know the process it takes to get a book published? As of today, we do know that our book will be available in the summer of 2012.
The Flipped Class Network (http://flippedclass.com) has mushroomed this year. When we started the year we had 400-500 members. Today we have around 2600 members. This community of educators spans the world. Educators have come together to help each other as they begin to implement aspects of the flipped class into their daily practice. On the network there are groups for every conceivable topic: groups for foreign language teachers, elementary teachers, science teachers, math teachers, and college teachers. They have supported each other and asked many questions which have helped us all.
People have been starting to do research about the effectiveness of the flipped class model. Ph.D. and Masters thesis’ have been written and are being written. For a partial list of some of the research you can click on Learn in the tab above.
In January of 2011, Aaron and I had a unique opportunity to present to the Morgridge Family Foundation. They invited us to share with their foundation about the flipped class. During that presentation we had the chance to meet the Morgridge family. They have graciously become supporters of the flipped class and have provided resources for furthering it.
This summer was also a surprise. For the past few years, Aaron and I have hosted a workshop in Woodland Park, CO where we had people come and learn about the Flipped Class. Several years ago we would get 25-40 folks and train them how to flip their classes. Much of our workshop time was devoted to how to use the software we used to make the videos. This year, people kept registering for our “workshop,” and it became clear that we no longer had a workshop, but rather, a full blown conference.
Also the summer, Aaron and I were very busy conducting workshops and speaking at conferences. We have spoken and or done workshops in Denver, Charlotte, Amarillo, Colorado Springs, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Wisconsin, Georgia, Dallas, Norway, and probably a few I have not mentioned. Others on the Flipped Class Network have also spoken in places as far away as Malaysia.
Social Media, especially twitter has become a huge tool for communicating more about the flipped class. Some time early in the year (or it may have been during the fall of 2010) we determined that the twitter hashtag for the flipped class would be #flipclass. This hashtag has received a great amount of traffic.
People have started blogging about the flipped class. As more and more people have brought in aspects of the flipped class into their settings, many have blogged about it and added to the knowledge base about the flipped class. You can see my partial list of some of the blogs by clicking on the Learn tab at the top of this website.
The flipped class has captured the interest of the media. More and more articles have been written about the flipped class. Again, I have a partial list of those articles listed in the Learn tab at the top.
And the flipped class has changed. I don’t want to belabor this point since it has been talked about in many other places. But in short, we realize that the flipped class is NOT just about the videos. In fact, the flipped class is so much more than the videos. If you want to know how our thinking about the flipped class has changed, I would read the “Flipped Class Manifesto” which was co-authored by many of the pioneers in the flipped class movement.
So what is ahead? Where is this heading? Is the flipped class just a passing fad? I believe this an idea that has the power to transform classes across the world? This summer we will have the “2nd” Flipped Class Conference. We are limiting the conference to 300 attendees (that is all the space we have). Aaron and I have found at these conferences/workshops that we learn more from the participants than we ever feel like we give.
Well….. That is a long enough post. I am excited about where the flipped class is heading. I certainly have been humbled to see that what we started six years ago has had such a great impact on students all over the world. Let's see where the next year takes us.