I focused this blog on the article about the unplugged flipped classroom.
My theme seems to be surrounding technology and the students who are left in the cold – either due their lack of technology or their lack of knowledge about technology. I keep coming back to the fact that I have many learners in my one program who do not even have access to smart phones, so forget about laptops. Due to life barriers and other responsibilities, they are unable to stay late to use the three classroom laptops nor are they able to access free laptops at a library. All of my questions are around how do we reach these individuals. How can we create a flipped classroom, engaging them with blogs and wikis etc. etc., when the students are unable to access an electronic device. When we do borrow enough technology to go around, or I set up time for each student to use the laptops, there is the added challenge that my students are not conversant in tech-speak. Therefore, let’s say I give an hour to work on a web quest… I end up spending the entire time trouble shooting issues on the computer, having little to do with the assignment itself. And if I am spending ten minutes helping five students, the hour is essentially gone. And the student who I helped last only has ten minutes to work on this. So how do we reach these students?
This is why I appreciated the article on “unplugging” the flipped classroom. As it turns out, I have been flipping the classroom in an unplugged manner all along! I routinely ask my students to watch a video or review a case study on their time and then we use the classroom as a place to brainstorm or create mind maps. I use playing cards to make groups so that I can separate and break up groups multiple times in order to allow all initial groups to share their content with each other. Then as a class, we will work together to figure out a better way to approach an issue, etc. I’m happy to see that this is a wireless form of the flipped classroom!