Sunday, July 1, 2012

Final(ish) FlipCon12 thoughts

Now that I’ve had about a week and a half to percolate the ideas from FlipCon12, it seems like a good time to get some final thoughts out about the conference. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the quantity of really smart people and the quality of pedagogical discussion that was present throughout the conference was, in a word, exhilarating. I came away from the conference, which was only two weeks after I ended my school year, incredibly energized for August to roll around. Usually the energized feeling happens sometime in July on my mountain bike way up in the Rockies in Colorado, but it came early this year.

So the final(ish) thoughts? First, the #flipclass community is so positive and supportive. The number of people who are willing to talk, help, and discuss ideas at a moment’s notice is pretty incredible. Second is assessment: Jen Gray’s and Marc Seigel’s sessions really challenged me to think about what, why, and how I assess in my class; there will be more on this later for sure. Third, it was great to connect with some fellow history flippers – there aren’t a lot of us, and it was nice to build a support network of folks who will be doing similar things in the fall. Finally, I went to FlipCon12 with the idea that next year I would be doing what is termed as Flipping 101 – move direct instruction to out of the classroom to video and run a normal classroom with more time in class to discuss the big ideas in a unit as well as current events relevant to a given unit. Well, all that goes out the window. I’d love to say there was an ‘ah-ha’ moment, or a great session that pushed me to make this choice, but it was a cumulative effect of the conference: I can’t do Flipping 101 next year. I’m all in – my world history class will be a self-paced mastery class next year. And I’m so excited to start!

I’ve titled this a final(ish) set of takeaways from FlipCon12 because the ideas are still going to get banged around in my head. I haven’t had a chance yet to go back and watch the FlipCon12 sessions I was unable to attend. I will continue to blog about my thoughts for my class next year and hopefully get some helpful feedback from the #flipclass community. The journey – with a healthy kick from FlipCon12 – has barely begun.