The Flipped Classroom: an experiment

Hi Harold Lounge,
I posted this to my personal blog earlier in the week and thought it might be fun to share.

Let me know what you think!

The Flipped Classroom: an experiment.

In addition to the sources mentioned in the post, I’ve also been reading “Flip your Classroom”, which has some very good suggestions.

Happy midterm!

CCC Student E-Mail

Welcome to spring semester 2013! In my first official post as a contributor on the HL, I would like to share a video. In this video, I show students how to access their student e-mail accounts. It’s posted on You Tube, and I used a free Snag It trial to create it.  Feel free to share this video with your students, if you like.

What’s Snag It, you ask? Well, I created a video on Snag It, too. That video, though, was created for a different audience. If you’re interested in seeing the Snag It video and perhaps hearing me wax eloquent about its cat’s pajamas-like functionality, then let me know, and I will post it, too.

On Teaching and Cognitive Science

Following up on yesterday’s post about lectures comes this interesting article about a new book that I can’t wait to get (once it’s in paperback) and read:

The invisible-gorilla experiment is featured in Cathy Davidson’s new book, Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Viking, 2011). Davidson is a founder of a nearly 7,000-member organization called Hastac, or the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, that was started in 2002 to promote the use of digital technology in academe. It is closely affiliated with the digital humanities and reflects that movement’s emphasis on collaboration among academics, technologists, publishers, and librarians. Last month I attended Hastac’s fifth conference, held at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Davidson’s keynote lecture emphasized that many of our educational practices are not supported by what we know about human cognition. At one point, she asked members of the audience to answer a question: “What three things do students need to know in this century?” Without further prompting, everyone started writing down answers, as if taking a test. While we listed familiar concepts such as “information literacy” and “creativity,” no one questioned the process of working silently and alone. And noticing that invisible gorilla was the real point of the exercise.

Most of us are, presumably, the products of compulsory educational practices that were developed during the Industrial Revolution. And the way most of us teach is a relic of the steam age; it is designed to support a factory system by cultivating “attention, timeliness, standardization, hierarchy, specialization, and metrics,” Davidson said. One could say it was based on the best research of the time, but the studies of Frederick Winslow Taylor, among others, that undergird the current educational regime (according to Davidson) depend upon faked data supporting the preconceptions of the managerial class. Human beings don’t function like machines, and it takes a lot of discipline—what we call “classroom management”—to make them conform. Crucial perspectives are devalued and rejected, stifling innovation, collaboration, and diversity.

It wasn’t always that way.

Intrigued? Yes, I was too. Enough to watch the keynote presentation even (available HERE). Cathy Davidson’s presentation begins around the 16 minute mark.

The next big thing? Or just more fetishizing of the new, mistaking the next thing for a better thing? Time will tell, I guess.

UPDATE: If you want to watch the Davidson Keynote in pieces, it divides up this way:

1. Minutes 1-16: Jibber-jabber and introduction of Cathy Davidson.

2. Minutes 16-30:15: The Four Information Ages

3. Minutes 30:15-44:29: Brain Science and Attention (and Attentional Blindness)

4. Minutes 44:29-58:45: Industrial Schooling (A brief history of “Scientific Learning Management”)

5. Minutes 58:45-63:20: Learning for Participation

6. Minutes 63:20-End: 21st Century Skills


Tuesday Teaching Talk

Tuesday Teaching Talk is a regular feature which, as the name implies, is an opportunity to talk explicitly about teaching (and learning) in the practical and philosophical sense that happens on, you guessed it, Tuesday. It could be a question, an article or a tip to name a few options.

In honor of today’s first Technology Tools of the Trade from 2:30-3:30 in room 102 here’s an interesting article about, you guessed it, technology (student use of tech. in particular though I think it is relevant to faculty blog commenting during particularly busy weeks).  Also, now that the smoke has cleared (almost) from midterm time, here’s a link to the survey from the CAST pedagogy subgroup’s Observation Collective (working title).

Website Wednesday

Website Wednesday is a regular feature in which we highlight one (or a couple) of sites from the Billions floating around the Intertoobz that just might help you with your Herculean task of educating inquiring minds. Any and all suggestions for future editions are welcome.

Those whose subjects occasionally require historical information about human conflict or geographical location might find this interactive, historical, global map of human conflict to be both useful and fun to play with.

By moving the “window” (which is adjustable, by the way) to particular periods of time, the reader creates a Google map of known conflicts during the time period specified, that allows for zooming and exploration.

I took the timeline back to 3670 BC before I came up with a blank map, which is pretty amazing.

If nothing else, it might be interesting to have your class guess how many conflicts are ongoing right this minute, and then show them the map for 2011. Click on the little “i” on the conflict list for information about the participants and consequences.

Dig it.

In case you missed it…HWC Faculty Technology Training Committee (FTTC)

HWC Faculty,

Technology is playing an ever more increasing role at the college.  And it is important that appropriate training procedures be instituted.  To help plan this it is imperative to know:

-What educational technology tools are you currently using?
-What would you like to see adopted?
-What do you want to learn about?
-What kind of training would you like to see initiated?
-How would you like to see the training delivered?
-What other ideas or recommendations do you have?
Your input is essential. Please click on the Educational Technology Survey link below and complete the survey.


Thank you,

Also, if you’re in the survey mood, CAST has a really (≤3 minutes)  quick one too.  The link is below, just in case.

The Netflix Effect: An Article I Can’t Stop Thinking About

You may have seen this article on computerized suggestions for students about classes they might want to take in The Chronicle–it’s been on top of the “most read” list for a while now. When I first heard of Netflix, most of the talk revolved around their amazing recommendation service. I never thought about using the kinds of algorithms used for advertising on web sites and recommending newspaper articles to readers to drive traffic for student advising. I’m intrigued.

When I read about that Netflix advising, I thought that I’d probably hate it; typically I bristle at any suggestions–following Emerson (in “Gifts”) and Dostoevsky (Underground), I find them to be insulting because of the predictability they imply (I’d rather be almost anything than be predictable, which, ironically, makes me predictable (sigh)). Not so. I don’t always follow it, and I sometimes look at things (or sign up for movies) that I’m really not interested in to try to confound the programming (how dumb is that?), but more often than not, I end up pleased that I was encouraged to see something that I would not have chosen for myself (most often because of a lack of awareness of it). I think I’d like to see it. Am I goofy?

The Ephrem-Vincent Show

A reminder from Blackboard guru Ephrem Rabin about an Educational Technology session he’s co-hosting with our Computer Lab Wizard Vince Wiggins on Friday, April 1st:

Educational Technology Q and A session that Vincent Wiggins and I are hosting  from 12:00 – 2:00 in room 407. Faculty can drop in to room 407 or log in to Elluminate to participate. Details are available at Ephrem’s Blackboard Blog at

Open to anyone and everyone.

Website Wednesday

Website Wednesday is a regular feature in which we highlight one (or a couple) of sites from the Billions floating around the Intertoobz that just might help you with your Herculean task of educating inquiring minds. Any and all suggestions for future editions are welcome.

I recently came across the mind mapping program MindMeister on a “best of” list for free online teaching tools. I’ve never used it, but it looks like it could definitely be a useful brainstorming tool, especially for visual learners. I could also see it working as a great organizational application for students who are writing research papers. If anyone has used MindMeister, or can think of any good classroom applications, please chime in.

The 2011 Horizon Report is Out

And according to an article in The Chronicle about it:

Mobile devices are one year away from transforming education. For the third straight year.

I love that lede. What a great sentence.

Anyway, the report–about technology trends in education–is available here, and contrary to the snarkiness of the above, it really is a reliably interesting look at educational technology trends and usage.

Website Wednesday

Website Wednesday is a regular feature in which we highlight one (or a couple) of sites from the Billions floating around the Intertoobz that just might help you with your Herculean task of educating inquiring minds. Any and all suggestions for future editions are welcome.

If you’re looking to supplement your class with some engaging video clips, or just interested in watching some thoughtful discussion for kicks, you might try nosing around Their “About” page describes the site as “the leading online destination for intelligent video programs on the people, issues, and ideas changing the world. We’ve gathered the web’s largest collection of unmediated video drawn from top conferences, universities, and public forums.”

Some of the videos require a premium membership to view, but there are A LOT of freebies available. As an example, check out their Education section. Good stuff, no?

Google Art Project

Well, I’ve been told that The Lounge is celebrating an anniversary this week and I was asked if I’d like to contribute. The answer is yes, and I will share a link that was brought to my attention by our esteemed colleague, Armen.

Google Art Project

I’ve not had an opportunity to view the entire site, but from what Armen tells me, it will be yet another great resource to our Art, Architecture, and Humanities courses. Here’s a link to ‘Learn More‘ about how to use and view the images. I hope you find the site of interest and of good use in your classes, regardless of discipline.

A big congratulations to The Lounge on this milestone. I’m sorry that my posts have been far and few this past year. I will not say the same regarding my visits and the time I spend reading the posts and replies.

Again, congratulations to The Lounge. It’s a great resource!

Website Wednesday

Website Wednesday is a regular feature in which we highlight one (or a couple) of sites from the Billions floating around the Intertoobz that just might help you with your Herculean task of educating inquiring minds. Any and all suggestions for future editions are welcome.

I don’t have much experience using social media in the classroom, but I was curious when I came across The Ultimate Teacher’s Guide to Social Media on the blog Edudemic, run by these folks. Coincidentally, when you open the Teacher’s Guide link and scroll down to access it in the document viewer, you can see how Issuu works, a useful tool for posting documents on Blackboard that was the subject of a Website Wednesday last semester.

Website Wednesday

Here’s a handy tool for sharing documents with students on your Blackboard sites:

Issuu is free a self-publishing tool that allows users to upload a file and then display it in an easy-to-read document viewer. Say you were teaching Macbeth, and to help introduce the play, you asked your students to read the Folger Shakespeare Library’s study guide to the play. The PDF file is available for download on the library’s website, so, using Blackboard, you could simply provide a link to it or upload it to your course site. Or using Issuu, you could embed the file directly into your Blackboard site and present it in a snazzy document viewer that offers full-screen display (and realistic page-flipping motions to boot).

Unfortunately the free version of WordPress (the site that hosts the Harold Lounge) doesn’t allow users to install the needed plug-in to embed Issuu files in blog posts, but you can get a sense of how the document viewer looks here. To embed an Issuu file directly in Blackboard (probably the most viewer-friendly means of sharing your documents), you will have to copy the embed code provided to you by Issuu after you upload your file and then paste it in your Blackboard content area after clicking the “Toggle HTML Source Mode” button (the one that looks like this: <>). You can choose from a few different layout and privacy choices, and include downloading and printing options as well. Files are limited to 100 MB and 500 pages, and the following file types can be used: pdf, doc, ppt, odt, wpd, sxw, rtf, odp, sxi.