Tag Archives: flipped learning

A Mid-Year Tech Review

As I am approaching the half-way point of our school year I want to assess my ‘Tech Targets’ to review my plans for the remainder of the school year.

Flipped Learning

The Flipped Learning Model is a practical way for teachers to maximize class time. The excellent Flipped Classroom Infographic by knewton.com provides an easy way to see the benefits. This is a useful tool for front loading information and allowing students to prepare questions in advance.

In an inquiry-based PYP classroom I rarely prepare lectures for my class. I want to be part of their learning journey to assess prior knowledge, address misconceptions and plan the next day of learning depending on student understanding and ideas. However, using video reminders after a lesson has been very useful. I decided to design my own infographic, based on Knewton’s, to target the specific needs of my flipped classroom.

Below is an example of how I have begun to put these ideas into practice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC7ACLOrNL8  (video no longer available)


Every now and then in education you stumble across something that has a big impact in the classroom. Kahoot.it is a simple idea and very easy to use. It is attractive, fun, engaging and has seeped into all curriculum areas of our classroom.

Kahoot excitement to liven up a shape quiz on a Thursday afternoon #sislearns #kahoot pic.twitter.com/b3kt4YcagI

— Amanda (@ALMcCloskey) October 15, 2015

My class are constantly requesting more Kahoot quizzes. We even have our own style of chair dancing emerging thanks to the catchy tunes. If you haven’t tried Kahoot yet I recommend it!

Minecraft Mania

It is clear that Minecraft is currently a major influence on primary-aged children. The excitement of even mentioning a mine, and the many conversations in class that can be related to Minecraft is impressive. I first saw it used in the classroom by @donovanhallnz in 2013 and began to realise the potential of Minecraft. I now feel ready to launch an ECA and have just received approval for site licenses and a server. My research has now begun and I have found some excellent information on some coetail blogs including @davidc, @wayfaringpath @chezvivian, @holtspeak. My new project awaits!

Image from Flickr by Mike Cooke

Digital Stories

Digital Story or Video?

Digital stories are tricky to define. Is it a video of any length? Does a picture slide show count? Is a documentary a story? Does audio over an image suffice? Does it have to be fiction? What exactly is it? The University of Houston has a digital storytelling website that explains:

Digital storytelling at its most basic core is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories.


This is still a very broad term and can include a huge range of digital works. The definition of ‘story’ itself is hard to pinpoint. Wikipedia defines storytelling as:

‘the conveying of events in words, sound and/or images, often by improvisation or embellishment.


Bradshaw rock painting

Photo from Flickr by Austronesian Expeditions. Aboriginal cave paintings are a form of storytelling.

Digital Story Count

If we assume that telling a story can mean any of these things (words, sound and/or images), when applied digitally we have a vast new medium for telling stories. When viewing YouTube statistics I found that:

YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.


Internet Livestats claims that 8 billion YouTube videos were viewed so far today alone (30/09/15).


Livestats reports.

Impact in the Classroom

Viewing videos in classrooms and with students has become common practice for many educators. The flipped learning model means that students can watch these videos at home to maximize learning time in the classroom. In addition to this trend many students are also increasingly creating their own media at home. An internet connection and a device are all that is needed to become a director.

We are at the point now where anyone can create and publish very compelling content with nothing more complex than a web browser.


Many students are utilizing this technology to share ideas about their personal interests, to tell a story or to share an idea or skill.

Today’s students don’t think twice about generating original electronic content and sharing it online, and digital storytelling dovetails well with these modes of student expression.


A Class YouTube Channel

As an educator I want to maximize this new form of storytelling. Digital stories and/or videos can be used in limitless ways including:

  • to reinforce learning
  • to provide additional support (especially for EAL students)
  • to create a provocation at the start of a unit
  • as an additional lesson resource
  • as a student assessment tool

I decided to create a class YouTube account to experiment with different ways to share digital stories and videos with my students. Below is my first attempt:


Students and parents responded positively to the video and found it a useful link to home/school learning. I then decided to set an assignment using a digital story to explain the assignment. Here are the results:


The possibilities are endless!