Category AV in Education

“Flipped” Learning – Trend or True?

It seems as if the beginning of each school year ushers in new education trends. This year the “flipped” classroom seems to be the buzzword. However, is this a trend, or will this initiative truly stand the test of time?

What is flipped learning? The interpretation of many educators is that this is an extension of the age-old practice of homework, with the added benefit of new technological advancements. Traditionally, teachers have always given homework to reinforce the skills learned in classroom lessons. We can now take this further by creating or linking video lessons and posting them where students can view and learn concepts online. The expectation is that students will come to the classroom ready to start their project, assignment or experiment.

By using a flipped learning method, there is more time in the classroom for hands-on practice, teachers as facilitators, and an inquiry-based approach. Students are able to view the material at their own pace, or as frequently as necessary to master each concept.

I must add a few caveats, which include the realities of our students’ environment. Even in the year 2012, not all children have computer access. Motivation can also be a factor. Who will motivate students to access the required viewing? For their lack of preparation, students will always offer up a multitude of excuses such as, “My dog ate my computer.”

That being said, I do believe we have an opportunity to overcome such obstacles, which will always stand in the way of learning. The Flipped Learning Network (FLN) has gathered significant findings on the success of this methodology and is continuing research with specific examples of increased learning gains and teacher satisfaction.

What is needed in order to “flip” your classroom? Your computer, a way to capture lessons via video (or link to video lessons, such as with SAFARI Montage), administrator and parent support, and a restructured lesson plan format. To manage this change in instruction, start with just one unit, theme, or standard until you reach a comfort level.

Have you tried a flipped instruction approach? What are your thoughts? Post your comments about your successes and challenges!

Sign Up for SMART Technology Training in Detroit

Teachers in K-12 and higher education — this is your opportunity to learn how to create engaging lessons for your students and make it easier to guide instruction in the classroom. Register for full-day or half-day professional development sessions on using SMART education technology. Topics include SMART Notebook collaborative learning software and SMART Response, an interactive system that gets students involved in lessons. AVI-SPL, a trusted integrator of classroom education solutions, presents this Tech Education Fall Series so that teachers can make the most of their technology.

Learning opportunities are available on a weekly basis throughout October and early in November. Courses are led by a SMART Certified Trainer and accommodate beginning, intermediate and advanced users of the technology.

Get the details on the training sessions and register at AVI-SPL’s Tech Education — Fall Series event page.

Annotate Without a Computer Using Epson’s BrightLink 485Wi Projector

Epson’s BrightLink 485Wi ultra short-throw projector features Interactivity 3.0 –  a technology solution that allows a user to create annotations without the need for a computer or a board. Using the pens, a teacher and student can draw on live images at the same time, and work with devices like a document camera, iPad, iPhone or no device at all. Watch the video below to see Epson’s demonstration of the BrightLink 485Wi.

Click here for projector information and specs.

Classroom Management Online and in Real Time

Have you heard of  It may be one of the best kept secrets out there – but no longer!  As the school year begins and we start wondering what our classes are going to be like, we now have an ally in the battle for classroom management! We all know that behavior management is crucial to success. Without it, your class never seems to get off of the ground, and the environment can easily go from bad to worse.  

ClassDojo helps you to give positive reinforcement to students, as well as warnings to improve behaviors. These are all viewed by the class using your projector, and are especially effective when used with a SMART Board. Students hear a pleasant sound for positive behavior, and a negative sound for warnings. All data is tracked and reports can be downloaded or set to email directly to parents. How about that! You can also control ClassDojo from anywhere in the room using the app for your smart phone!  ClassDojo is a free online program to make your life as a teacher a little more manageable. Create the expectation for good behavior the first day of school using ClassDojo!

Watch: Video on Sony’s VPL-E 200 series

At InfoComm 2012, Sony unveiled some of its latest projectors, including ultra short throw models, its blending technology and the VPL-E 200 series, highlighted in the video below. During this brief overview, Sony’s representative discusses some of the advantages of the VPL-E 200, including the ability to run presentations wirelessly from a laptop as well as from a USB drive. Go to AVI-SPL’s Sony product page to look at additional projector models along with complete specs and downloadable product pdfs.