Showing posts from July, 2011

How to Lead the Horse to Water?

Apparently, I can't even lead a horse to water, much less make it drink.

I held a tech session recently at school to introduce interested colleagues to free and ongoing professional development opportunities. The plan: show them several ways to learn online (Future of Education interview series ( and Learn Central webinars) and then show and have them sign up for Twitter and have it culminate in participation in a Tuesday edchat session. It was going to be great to show them immediately how to learn from others all over the world.

One person showed.

The week before I held a session on organization and document sharing. Two showed for that. I should have quit while I was ahead.

Of course, it was in the middle of summer and I only gave them a few days notice so that could have been a big factor. Maybe the topics were not that exciting, interesting or maybe I used terms that had no appeal on their own. But I had a theory that I thought would make this work: …

The "Unplugged" Flipped Classroom

The more I heard about the "flipped" classroom model, the better it sounded - introduce students to a topic at home and then work through and learn the process/content in class with the teacher. And then I did the (warning, I'm about to go very cryptic with the next reference) "Hey ... HEY!" double-take from classic 1940's films like "It's a Wonderful Life" because I think my classroom has always been flipped (if I understand it correctly).

My English students do a lot of reading during the course of the year and almost all of it is done at home. They do the assigned reading and we discuss it the following day (usually after a quick "did you do the reading?" quiz at the beginning of class). The discussions usually include reading of passages from the text out loud, which is an important part of the process to understanding and appreciating literature. Maybe it is because I have always done things in this manner and therefore, I am a l…