The Science Learnification (almost) Weekly (May 8, 2011)

This is a collection of things that tickled my science education fancy in the last two weeks or so. 

Flipped/Inverted Classroom

This seems to be a recurring topic here on the Learnification (almost) Weekly.

  • “Flipping” your classroom: Yay, Stephanie (sciencegeekgirl who posts to the Active Class blog and her own blog) posted a nice quick, but thorough summary of what the flipped classroom is all about. I love to have these quick summaries to be able to point to in blog posts instead of having to write my own summary paragraph every time I mention something. For example, I link to her post on why demos don’t always work every time I talk about demos.
  • Mobile Learning and the Inverted Classroom: Part four of Derek Bruff’s five part series on the five types of mobile learning talks about the flipped classroom with examples of Eric Mazur and Robert Talbert. Unlike most other discussions of flipped classrooms which usually focus on only video or screencast content delivery, Bruff also mentions pre-lecture reading assignments for content delivery (which is what I have been using).
  • Flip Teaching: What Happens When Homework is in Class?: Rhett Allain talks about his use of videos for pre-lab and pre-lecture among other things. A good week for the heavy-hitters all posting on the same thing.
  • The Flipped…High School: Yowsa! An entire high school, flipped. I can’t speak on this specific case but this does raise one of the most important things in any sort of reformed teaching effort: buy-in. Without student buy-in, the effort is doomed to fail, and without teacher buy-in, one can’t generate student buy-in. This is probably the biggest hurdle in top-down education reform.

Understanding Science

  • Understanding Science: This resource on how science works is fantastic. Lots of good stuff to have in your back pocket when talking to those who don’t know (or don’t want to know) much about science. Tons of discussions of major scientific discoveries are used as examples for the different points being made.

Gaming the Classroom

Confusion is ignorance leaving the brain

“I don’t understand why people are not enraged that they are paying hundreds of dollars a day to go to lecture when they learn the material themselves!”

  • How I Learned Linear Algebra Without Going to Class: John Schroeder gives the student view on a lot of things that get discussed by the science-education folks in the blogosphere. He’s studying to become a high-school physics teacher and recently skipped his linear algebra classes and opted instead to learn it from the Khan Academy. He uses this as a spring-board to discuss his frustration with lecture still being the standard given that, in his view, most people end up just going off and learning it themselves: “I don’t understand why people are not enraged that they are paying hundreds of dollars a day to go to lecture when they learn the material themselves!” Spend a bit of time on his blog, his posts are worth your time.
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