New Site and Mission to Nurture the Emerging Worldwide Community of Flipped Educators
Flipped Learning continues to expand everywhere as a grassroots movement … not something ‘forced' from the top down or pushed on districts by government entities, but a concept passionately embraced by the practitioners who live it every day.
Teachers across the world have seen how technology and an idea can be used to make a meaningful impact on student learning and they've grabbed the bull by the horns and driven the change. Yes, there are some schools, districts, and even entire universities that have implemented the model full scale, but even those generally started with a number of small, individual successes.
Over the course of this decade-long evolution, there has emerged a growing community of educators with various levels of flipped teaching and learning experience. Some are just beginning, some are evolving their practice as they gain experience, and some are expanding on their success and using valuable face-to-face class time they've freed up to implement mastery learning, richer project based learning, and other active, engaging practices.
The New Focus of the Flipped Learning Network: Community
The Flipped Learning Network was formed in 2012 by practice pioneers Aaron Sams and Jon Bergmann and several colleagues, and was focused on sharing best practices, and facilitating the annual FlipCon conference. Over the last few years, an interesting thing happened … flipped learning conferences starting popping up all across the world. Some of these are the result of the efforts of Bergmann and Sams, but others are coming from many different corners of academia. Consequently, the FLN no longer needs to be the driver of an annual conference … the momentum of the movement has taken care of that! Now they (well, “we” actually … but more on that in a moment) can focus on the flipped learning community.
So, FlipCon 2016 (in Allen, TX next week) will be the last conference sponsored by the FLN (at least for the foreseeable future). There's still time to get on board and we hope you'll come join us!
Under its revised mission, the Flipped Learning Network is moving away from providing one-off training and gathering opportunities to focus on a completely rebuilt community website … a living, dynamic hub built on syndication (educators are welcomed to submit a request to share their selected blog posts to the new site using this Contact Form). Take a look around and you’ll find an initial set of posts (and more coming!) organized in several groups, such as academic subject, grade level grouping, tool and apps, How To's, and the Four Pillars of flipped learning.
We're so excited to offer this vibrant resource where teachers can come and explore the extensive insights, tips, and techniques being shared by passionate ‘flippers' from across the planet.
… and my part in it 🙂
I often tell the story of how around 2011 or so, after a few years of blogging about education technologies, I was increasingly passionate about finding uses of technology that could truly impact teaching and learning. Many of the tools and techniques that educators were exploring were fun and engaging, but not really fundamentally enhancing the process and the outcomes.
Then I heard Sal Khan mention the idea of the flipped classroom. It didn't take long for me to start searching and exploring the web for to learn more. I quickly came across content from Sams and Bergmann, as well as blog posts from folks like John Sowash, Shelley Wright, Jackie Gerstein and a growing body of educators dabbling with the flipped classroom. I sensed quickly that this was a powerful technique for leveraging the growing set of free and low cost technologies increasingly at our fingertips across the Internet to evolve and enhance teaching and learning. (In fact, I can honestly say that I think flipped learning is clearly one of the biggest “wins” in the world of edtech to date, IMHO.)
I started learning more, sharing what I was learning, and was soon utilizing the technique in the course I teach at The College of Westchester. I also led a successful pilot implementation with numerous teachers – more on that here.
Fast forward 5 years, and after writing over a hundred articles related to the topic, delivering dozens of training workshops and conference presentations, and writing a “workshop-in-a-book”, I have now had the amazing privilege of joining the Flipped Learning Network in an official capacity. In June, I started as Community Director for the group. I will be working with the community at large to help syndicate content that shares best practices, tools and techniques, resources and events, and more. I can hardly believe my good fortune, and I am totally psyched about this new role!
Now don't worry – this doesn't really impact what we do here on EmergingEdTech. We (as in myself and the many guest writers who provide quality content) will continue to look at a wide array of emerging instructional uses of technology – those that are on the horizon, those that are gaining momentum, and how to get the most out of those that have become mainstream. Additionally, we like to keep an eye on how education and the careers it enables are changing, influenced by digital technologies and the need to continue to try and improve on known shortcomings of the system.
So come on over to the new Flipped Learning Network site and spend some quality time! If you're one of the growing body of educators writing about flipped learning, you can learn how you can request to have your content syndicated. And of course, everyone in the world of education and professional development (and yes, that includes trainers of all types!) is encouraged to stop by often and tap into the amazing know-how and experience that many educators are sharing through this revitalized online community!