Sunday, June 17, 2012

Why I am in Chicago for #FlipCon12?

Ah ha – a great question. If you told me a year ago that I’d be leaving the Bay Area in my second week of summer vacation to go to a conference about flipped classrooms, I would have found your statement intriguing. If you would have told me that I would be supremely excited for this conference, well, things would have gotten just a little weirder. But here I am, psyched for #FlipCon12. How’d I get here?

I was lucky enough to be selected to participate in the Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology (MERIT) program through Foothill College this past year. Under the supremely capable leadership of Rushton Hurley and Diane Main, a cohort of about 60 mixed age level teachers and administrators were led through a very hands-on year of intensive educational technology training. I have written previously about the tremendous positive impact MERIT had on my teaching, and I am looking forward to the ways Rushton and Diane’s ideas on technology integration and engaging all students will continue to challenge me.

Through MERIT I also gained access to a ton of resources I just didn’t know about – I learned the wonder of Twitter (best PD in the world) and got to go to EdCampSFBay. This got the ball rolling towards #FlipCon12, though at the time I wouldn’t have known it. While at EdCampSFBay, I happened to sit next to a tall gentleman with a shaved head at lunch.  This guy was talking about flipped classrooms, which I knew nothing about. I was lucky enough to hear Ramsey Musallam speak that day as well as several other times throughout the year, and his ability to so lucidly state both the theoretical reasons to flip your classroom as well as what the practical aspects of what a flipped classroom looked like was deeply thought-provoking.

My exposure to Ramsey’s ideas around the flipped classroom eventually moved me into the Twitter-sphere, more specifically into the best PD of my week. Every Monday, from 5-6pm PST, the #flipclass chat fills my timeline with successes, struggles, and most importantly ideas for what a flipped classroom can do for the learning of all students. Without the impetus of so many honest, energetic practitioners of a flipped classroom, I would not be heading to Chicago for #FlipCon12.

So there you have it: MERIT + Ramsey Musallam + #flipclass = #FlipCon12. I’m beyond excited for what these coming days will hold for me, and more importantly the positive impact it will have on my students.