My year 10s have been studying Ray Bradbury short stories and were ready to write an essay to compare and contrast a character from each story. I created an Explain Everything presentation and asked them to watch it as preparation for the essay test the following day.
The test day came and the class brought their iPads and headphones so that they could use the presentation to help them write the essay. I asked them to hand write the essay to practise for the end of year exam. I did no classroom teaching at all on how to write this essay but instead relied on the presentation to do this for me.
1.The class were quiet and engaged for a whole hour.
2. Students were able to rewind and listen to anything they did not understand.
1. By the end of the hour most had only completed the planning stage of the essay suggesting that little or no preparation had been done at home. No one competed the essay in the period given.
2.The weak students didn’t understand so they simply watched the presentation over and over! At least they didn’t give up and become a behaviour problem though, bless them.
3. The weak students complained about it being too hard to understand.
I asked a few students whether they preferred the flipped approach or me teaching in front of the class. All said they preferred me teaching. The weaker students in particular said that they prefer this, however, the stronger students said that a mix of both would be preferable.
Based on this experience and anecdotal evidence from my colleagues, I believe that a combined approach is the way forward. In fact a colleague brought me a Swivl gadget to play with today so I’m thinking that I will film myself delivering the instruction and answering questions and then create a presentation for students to refer to at home or in later lessons.