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Wowzers offers online Game-based Math curriculum for Grades 3-8

Love how the author noted

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Love how the author noted that flipped classrooms open the doors for teachers to communicate and guide their student's learning instead of being the end-all-be-all of the content.

When students are given the opportunity to self-drive their basic learning, they can create stronger connections to the information. Then, as noted in the article, the teacher can use these connections (and enhance them) to build some serious higher-order thinking, analysis, and application skills within the students. That's to educator's ears!

The teacher can help foster these students to become continuous creators or 'producers' of knowledge, instead of consumers of knowledge. To learn more about how flipped classrooms promote knowledge production, check out this blog post - http://blog.wowzers.com/bid/272758/Flipped-Classrooms-Promote-Knowledge-...

Founder, Director of SuperScience for High School Physics

Media on Flipped Classroom

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I found this article http://www.mail.com/scitech/news/1849928-teachers-flip-flipped-learning-... this morning on flipped classrooms. As I expected, review the 14th paragraph down and you will find a reference to some of the criticism that the flipped classroom "smacks of teachers abandoning their primary responsibility of instructing".

If you look at my earlier posts, I noted that the flipped model is a way to eventually phase out full time teachers under certain conditions. The sentiment expressed in that paragraph that I cited is exactly what will lead to this happening - "if teachers aren't instructing as much, we don't need to pay them for when they aren't".

I'm not a classroom teacher, I'm not on a school board, I have no kids in school and I don't belong to a union. I don't sell products to teachers (yet) so I have no personal dog in this fight. If teachers in certain districts lose jobs or are cut back to part time, it has no effect on me, one way of the other. But I am a professional analyst and a darn good one, and I'm simply pointing out what to me is obvious - this flipped classroom model has the potential of flipping on the teachers that embrace it and flipping them into cut backs in their hours and pay. The sentiment expressed in that paragraph is exactly what I would expect out of smaller school districts facing budget issues, and that's exactly where I expect the implementation of flipped classrooms to be used to cut back on teaching costs.

I experienced this so-called flipped classroom model in the 70s where it was used during massive snow emergencies as a way to continue school when we were out of snow days. I've been there, done that and still have the T-shirt. For the students, it works. For the teachers, it works. And when the bean counters realize that it means teachers not teaching as much but instead doing what so-called "guides or aides" can do for less money, it's going to work for them too - as a cost cutting tool. So, you teachers that are embracing this model so happily, in school districts with serious budget issues, you might not want to see this as some great new tool so much and perhaps take some time to review your ancient history.

You see, there was once this thing called the Trojan Horse...

Science Education Program Developer, Sci-Q Systems

This is another meaning for

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This is another meaning for "differentiated instruction." Not only does a teacher need to take students' differences into account, but administrators also need to allow for different teaching styles as long as the teachers are effective. One size does not fit all in either case.

President at Smart Science Education Inc.

Wrong

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I'll leave it to our readers to decide. You have just demonstrated quite amply that there's no purpose in continuing this discussion -- at least on my part.

You engaged in personal attacks. I did not. That's the only reason I responded in the first place.

My original, very short remarks stand, and I stand behind them despite the potential for misinterpretation engendered by their brevity.

Founder, Director of SuperScience for High School Physics

Yaaaaawwwwnnnnn

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Dear Dr. Keller:

You can have whatever opinion you want, just don't take my words out of context. You got the "long reply" because I believe in accuracy and details, which you only pretended to. You confirmed that in your long response.

Your first mistake was in your initial comment about me. Instead of asking me for a clarification of the points in question, you assumed you knew what you were talking about and I didn't. You dug yourself a deeper hole the more you wrote, the second time. In short:

1. "Mr. Barnes criticism about me being focused on science education is accurate, and I should have mentioned that in my remarks. Still, greater interactivity in learning should be valuable in any subject area."

Yea. I was accurate because I know how to focus on detail and understand what I read. You don't. You prove it below. Second, you have no idea how to handle interactivity in other subjects. Unlike you, I'm viewing education holistically, while your view is skewed by your personal investment in the education industry...

2. "If you read what I wrote (takes about ten seconds), you'll see that I never made any remark about getting rid of teachers. Mr. Barnes says that we will be able to get by with less qualified teachers if you flip the classroom"

I said that flipped classrooms will result in using teachers less (I'll deal with your faux complaint about accusing you of saying anything about getting rid of teachers in point #7). It won't happen because I want it to, but because it will be the only way to reduce teacher costs. It's not my call. I don't work in or for the school system. You keep missing that. Reading comprehension?

3. "No "well-developed lesson plan" can anticipate all such questions. The web is hardly a substitute for understanding as it provides data, sometimes difficult to locate and validate, rather than specific information that illuminates the topic well. I've found this to be true for many of my own web searches. "

This comment of yours will come back and bite you. Watch...

4. "Based on his remarks, Mr. Barnes seem to have a prejudice against those in business. Maybe not, but my comments were not intended to sell anything (except for ideas)."

Again, with your lack of reading comprehension here. Where did I say *anything* against business? Let me be very plain and transparent here - I am in business. I've never worked for a government institution in my life. I am a research and development engineer and the development part is for commercial exploitation. What I do have a prejudice against is people who take things out of context and make sloppy attempts at back handed insults. My comment, which you admit was accurate, was based on the obvious fact that you were trying to push your own commercial agenda that might not have been so obvious to others. Your slip was showing...

5. Mr. Barnes says, "And all these interactive ideas you have also have limited capabilities because of the simple reason that all aspects of a subject are not that easily rendered into interactive activities. Interactive activities are best suited as the end of a themed lesson for some subjects and not as the beginning, nor its entirety. Your thinking otherwise is due to the fact that that's the business you're in. I'm not a classroom teacher..."

"This judgment assumes a lack of creativity on the part of the people who develop the activities. We're a creative nation with innovators everywhere. Let's assume the best, not the ordinary."

GOTCHA! Your opinion, quoted in point #3 flies in the face of what you just said, above. Why all the sudden are you assuming "the best" when it wasn't possible before? You contradict yourself in a attempt to make your points. Sloppy. Very sloppy.

6. " If he thinks that I have obtained a PhD in chemistry from one of the nation's top five chemistry graduate schools without having good reading comprehension, he's sadly mistaken. I suspect that somehow my very brief remarks struck a nerve and caused him to write without careful reflection."

Well, Dr. Keller, I don't think you got a PhD from that top flight school you went to without having good reading comprehension, but I know that you don't have it now - your writing proves it! You're the one that needs to do the careful reflection. Your PhD doesn't impress me, because that is my peer class. I'm impressed by the quality of work a person does, not how many letters they pile behind their name.

7. "For those who don't like to scroll up and down to figure out what's going on, I've attached my initial remarks below. You'll see that I did not mention getting rid of teachers and that I qualified the second of my two remarks as being what I "maintain."

Yeah. About that reading comprehension problem... I never said that you said anything about getting rid of teachers, I intimated that you implied that's what *I was talking about*. "Having more self-study requires a better teacher, not a less-qualified one" was your response to *my post*. I never said it was an either or proposition.That would mean subtracting from the number of teachers, i.e. getting rid of some. It's not about having less qualified teachers or "guides" to reduce the teacher size, it's about reducing the teacher frequency. Maybe that's too difficult for your PhD mind to grasp, I don't know. I usually deal with physicists, not chemists. They're problem is getting into the math too much...

So in closing, I would strongly suggest that you just drop this discussion, or at least leave me out of it. This isn't the forum for flame wars, and I think it's unprofessional to do so here. It's clear you're the one with the personal stake in this issue, so if you want to continue this dance in private emails, I'll be your huckleberry. However, I think that you should do the careful reflection before doing so. From what I've seen so far, you are woefully equipped proceed in such a manner with me, and it's clear you have no idea who I am, nor my background or you wouldn't have started this in the first place.

Good night...

President at Smart Science Education Inc.

Dr. Harry E. Keller, President, Smart Science Education Inc.

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Wow, such a long response to such a short post! Oh boy, now I have to write more than I care to. This topic is just too important.

I differ with Mr. Barnes on just two points. My opinions here are based on many years of extensive reading in science education and of discussions with expert practitioners in the field and not on some desire to make more money. My business came from my desire to improve science education and not the reverse.

Mr. Barnes criticism about me being focused on science education is accurate, and I should have mentioned that in my remarks. Still, greater interactivity in learning should be valuable in any subject area.

If you read what I wrote (takes about ten seconds), you'll see that I never made any remark about getting rid of teachers. Mr. Barnes says that we will be able to get by with less qualified teachers if you flip the classroom. I argue the reverse. Of course, if you are only interested in having higher scores on memory-oriented tests, then his position may be just fine. I don't take that view but am concerned with students understanding science and not just being able to spout science factoids. Questions may reach outside of the bounds of standard tests. A teacher can either sidestep these or engage with them. If the latter, then that teacher must be prepared deep knowledge. No "well-developed lesson plan" can anticipate all such questions. The web is hardly a substitute for understanding as it provides data, sometimes difficult to locate and validate, rather than specific information that illuminates the topic well. I've found this to be true for many of my own web searches.

Nevertheless, it is likely that more self-study will result in a larger student-teacher ratio. I cannot say for sure until it happens. However, I have encountered online teachers with over 400 students, well beyond the usual load for traditional teachers.

Mr. Barnes says, "And all these interactive ideas you have also have limited capabilities because of the simple reason that all aspects of a subject are not that easily rendered into interactive activities. Interactive activities are best suited as the end of a themed lesson for some subjects and not as the beginning, nor its entirety. Your thinking otherwise is due to the fact that that's the business you're in. I'm not a classroom teacher..."

This judgment assumes a lack of creativity on the part of the people who develop the activities. We're a creative nation with innovators everywhere. Let's assume the best, not the ordinary.

But I really must comment on second-to-the-last sentence quoted above. Based on his remarks, Mr. Barnes seem to have a prejudice against those in business. Maybe not, but my comments were not intended to sell anything (except for ideas). My business developed from a concern about education and about using technology, especially Internet technology, well. My thinking led to my business, not the reverse. I am a former professor of chemistry at a large Boston university. As I watched my children being subjected to poor science instruction, I felt that I had to do more than just help them so that millions of other children are treated better.

Finally, Mr. Barnes concluding sentence stoops to personal attack. It's unfortunate that he did so in a discussion that should focus on issues rather than personalities. If he thinks that I have obtained a PhD in chemistry from one of the nation's top five chemistry graduate schools without having good reading comprehension, he's sadly mistaken. I suspect that somehow my very brief remarks struck a nerve and caused him to write without careful reflection.

I was not so much criticizing as opening up a discussion on a topic that I feel should have more opinions expressed. The ad-hominem attack on me as being in "product salesman mode' is misplaced and inappropriate. For someone who does not even know me to make an unqualified statement of my reading ability also falls to the level of ad-hominem attack or worse. It certainly detracts from what should be a more scholarly discussion.

For those who don't like to scroll up and down to figure out what's going on, I've attached my initial remarks below. You'll see that I did not mention getting rid of teachers and that I qualified the second of my two remarks as being what I "maintain." I also point out that videos (such as those used in flipped classrooms) will be required as education transitions to what I expect will be a more interactive future based on the Internet. Of course, I can't know that for certain. No one can predict the future, including Mr. Barnes. As technology becomes less expensive and the Internet more pervasive, I truly believe online interactive learning (or something very similar) will become the norm.

***

Having more self-study requires a better teacher, not a less-qualified one. In order to answer questions well about material, you must have a deep understanding of the subject to deal with material beyond that presented in the videos.

I also maintain that videos are just as outdated as textbooks and will not be the online learning mode of the future. Text and video material will be supplementary but not central to learning. instead, learning will be through highly interactive online activities. Videos are much easier to make and so will fill in until the interactive materials can take over.

Founder, Director of SuperScience for High School Physics

The Devil is in the Details, if you can read them...

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Mr. Keller:

If you had paid attention to the "details" in my post, you would have seen why your subsequent response was irrelevant. First, I said nothing about getting rid of teachers, only reducing the number of days in which they were there. Second, your position on the merits of self-study are subjective. You said "In order to answer questions well about material, you must have a deep understanding of the subject to deal with material beyond that presented in the videos." Any well developed lesson material would have the information to answer any appropriate questions that students at a particular age would come up with. Also, the teachers would be there on days where the students could have any left over questions answered. Besides, there's the internet, for crying out loud. Any teacher's aide, or "guide", should be knowledgeable on how to find accurate information on the web, if not, they're not qualified to be a teacher's aide. You also missed the fact that I said that I had already been through this type of arrangement, so this is not some abstraction. It was already done decades ago, and quite successfully.

As far as your maintaining what the state of videos are, again, do you have some kind of crystal ball or what? Actually, all I had to do was check out your web site and it was clear that your opinions are the heavily biased result of the your company and the science product it sells. Well, here's another detail you failed to comprehend from my original post - I wasn't being specific to any particular subject. How's a class going to do an interactive online activity about the Civil War or the Roman Empire? That requires having a "deeper understanding" (for the student that is) and how are they going to get that? From reading, videos and listening to a teacher, that's how.

And all these interactive ideas you have also have limited capabilities because of the simple reason that all aspects of a subject are not that easily rendered into interactive activities. Interactive activities are best suited as the end of a themed lesson for some subjects and not as the beginning, nor its entirety. Your thinking otherwise is due to the fact that that's the business you're in. I'm not a classroom teacher, I'm a guest lecturer and an analyst of future trends, and my comment was based on my personal experiences as a teenage student and an adult analyst. Just as you're sold on the idea of interactive online activities, there are others who don't think the focus should be on technology as much. I think both sides are missing the point. There are many ways of teaching and learning and the final decisions will be made by those in control of the school budgets and how much money they have to spend.

This move to flipped classrooms will be the solution for the budget challenged school systems, not because I'm pushing it that way, but because there will be no other choice. It doesn't effect me personally either way. I'm not selling anything and I have no job to lose in a school system.

At any rate, I just hope before you start criticizing what anyone else is saying, that you step out of your product salesman mode and maybe pay attention to the "details" that are in front of your eyes. You're a good example of why it's so important for us to not give up on teaching reading skills in schools, and above all, good reading comprehension.

Adjunct Instructor at Missouri State University

A Few Misinformed Folks Still Left

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As I watch the debate about Flipped Teaching, it seems that many people still do not know what Flipping is - and that is leading them to make uninformed posts. You can take an online class for free that explains what Flipped Teaching is, and also trains you how to be a Digital Teacher (complete with certificate). Here is a preview link for you to determine if you are interested in the course:
http://bit.ly/freedigitaltraining

President, Smart Science Education Inc.

I have to disagree with

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I have to disagree with Marshall Barnes, at least on the details.

Having more self-study requires a better teacher, not a less-qualified one. In order to answer questions well about material, you must have a deep understanding of the subject to deal with material beyond that presented in the videos.

I also maintain that videos are just as outdated as textbooks and will not be the online learning mode of the future. Text and video material will be supplementary but not central to learning. instead, learning will be through highly interactive online activities. Videos are much easier to make and so will fill in until the interactive materials can take over.

New ways of Framing Learning

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I love the suggestion to have students frame The Need to Know component. To take it a step further, a group of students could generate that podcast or lecture as a way to set the stage for a new unit or collaborative project.

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