World War Two or not to: Course 5 Project

True to form, I flip-flopped right to the wire in deciding what to use for my final presentation for Course 5, and sadly, the end of the COETAIL course at YIS. This last minute flip-flop seems somewhat appropriate in that eventually I opted for the ‘Flipped Classroom’ project which I first wrote about early last year, and have developed further from exploring the (often controversial and divisive) Flipped Classroom concept as it is currently understood, through both the readings and f2f sessions on the COETAIL course over the last 18 months.

While I had originally planned to write-up the increasingly extensive way in which I have begun to use Google Sites in my school – in particular a World War Two project the pupils completed – I began to think about overall impact, and although this has had significant impact amongst pupils and in the larger school context, I felt that my ‘Flipped Classroom’ project has had even more. The project is my own take on a buzzword which in is hard to avoid in current educational discourse, and has been both a revelation, and a revolution in my own classroom. It has grown from many of the ideas and tools to which COETAIL initially introduced me to, and the confidence it has given me to use them in my practice. The project continues to develop in interesting and innovative ways alongside the children’s confidence  and enthusiasm to be involved in it, and has led to the start of other ‘Flipped Classroom’ initiatives within my school such as that by Neil Willis, and my own introduction of a Google-style 20% time pilot starting next week, inspired by this group of innovative educators.

The video presentation tells the rest of the story better than I can, and fittingly it is told largely by the children, both the focus of and driving force behind the success of our take on a ‘Flipped Classroom’, where, students truly lead and teachers follow. The innovation, confidence, engagement, humour and creativity they have brought to it has made me reflect deeply on my philosophy and practice as an educator, and made me a better teacher in the process. Flipping. Incredible. Journey.

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Image Credit    1. Flip Flops photo from CC Search

4 Replies to “World War Two or not to: Course 5 Project”

  1. A great post which I hope you will share with the rest of the school community.

    On the face of it, the main objective is simple: deliver a lesson. But there are so many skills being developed in the background. In fact, those organisational and leadership skills will be the most enduring of all.

    I found the reflections at the end of the video really insightful and had to smile when the kids acknowledged that being a teacher isn’t easy. What’s the biggest change that you have noticed in the kids? How would you sum up ‘Flipped Classroom’ in one word as a teacher?

    1. Thanks Pal. It has definitely given the kids more confidence to take risks, and encouraged some who might not have stepped up earlier in the year. One word? No chance!

  2. Hi Philip,
    Just to let you know that I am probably going to sound a bit over the top in my praise-so please be warned before I begin. I think it is important that you should be aware of the difference you have made to the teachers who see what you are doing in the classroom. Personally, I will copy and adapt only what I see as having a positive impact on my teaching (and more importantly-the learning of the children in my class). I can unashamedly tell you that I have happily used many of your ideas within my own teaching. I have also used other coetailers/teachers at my school’s ideas but I think that 70% of the new ideas I use come from the ideas you have generated. This final project and summation of your coetail course is a perfect way to celebrate what your students have learned; but it is also a testament and legacy to your adaptability and good practise. Great job Philip!

  3. I enjoyed your project and I am especially excited to have found VideoScribe. The effect is very engaging and I can’t wait to give it a try. You students are very articulate and obviously gained many life skills from your version of ‘flipped classroom’. I dream of being some place that I have some wiggle room in my schedule for something along the 20% lines. Your project will be in the back of my mind for a long time to come.

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