I started implementing a Flipped Classroom model. After experimenting with the use of videos to support student learning outside of the classroom, I saw they had tremendous value to improve learning. Students could engage with material at their own pace which was incredibly empowering.
I have since moved to a playlist model. I still use videos, but they are included in playlists along with skills practice and problem solving using tools that provide instant feedback. I made this change for several reasons including:
1. Asking students to learn new material through video at home increased the divide between my students. Those who did not or could not watch were at a significant disadvantage over those who did.
2. I can easily differentiate instruction for all students in this model. I provide just-in-time support for students who struggle either one-on-one or in small groups. At the same time students who master content more quickly are provided with enrichment or extension activities that challenge them.
3. Barrington High School invested heavily in technology. Knowing that all students had access to a device enabled me to rely on the use of devices every day.
Building playlists is time consuming. Creating and embedding videos, finding/creating high quality auto-graded content, and converting content into a digital format is a slow process. I haven't really overcome this challenge. I just find teaching this way to be so much better for my students that I push myself to the limit of what is healthy.
Take it slow. Have a long-range plan and share the burden of the work among team members if possible.
I can successfully convince teachers from other schools/districts to change their classroom practice only after they see it for themselves. I have done this through classroom simulations and inviting educators to observe the model in my classroom. I truly believe that seeing effective blended learning in action is the single most effective way to ignite change.
I've had success helping teachers get started with blended learning by presenting at conferences throughout New England over the past several years. I try to balance increasing teachers' comfort level with the technology and thinking about redefining the classroom in a way that is not intimidating, even to newbies.
With a long and rich tradition of academic excellence, Barrington High School prides itself on the accomplishments of our just over 1,100 students and the quality of our staff. Our school is located in the suburban community of Barrington, Rhode Island, ten miles outside the capital city of Providence. In addition to being named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in 2016, BHS became a Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship certified school in 2015 and was named a P21 Partnership for 21st Century Learning exemplar school in 2016.
Our climate is one of respect, trust and support. The students and staff at BHS are caring and compassionate and generally look out for one another's well-being. This point was reinforced by data reported in the 2014 and 2015 OECD Tests for Schools that reported very high findings regarding teacher-student relations at our school with nearly 100 percent of students strongly agreeing that their teachers treat them fairly and are interested in their well-being.
BHS began its journey towards effectively integrating the use of technology in the classroom when we introduced a B.Y.O.D. policy in 2013. The following year Chromebook carts were made available to each department. Finally in 2015 BHS went 1:1, issuing Chromebooks to all students grades 9-12. Throughout this journey, professional development changed dramatically to support implementation. Teacher-led technology integration workshops are offered on district professional development days, providing personalized support for all staff.
Barrington High School
Barrington, Rhode Island
02806 United States
In 2014-2015 Rhode Island used the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) to test students in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The NECAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Rhode Island. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.
The 2015 results of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments provide a first look at whether students are meeting the expectations of the new learning standards in literacy and mathematics. These standards are designed to prepare students for success in their next grade level, in postsecondary learning, and in career opportunities.