I graduated SUNY Oneonta in December 2015 with a bachelor's degree in secondary education and earth science. I also recieved my middle school certification. I started off 2016 by teaching part time at my own high school in Broome County, NY. I then moved on to full-time teaching at a rural school in Chenango County starting the following fall. I am in my fifth year at this school teaching 9th grade Regents Earth Science, and for the first time this year, I am teaching 6th grade science. I am enjoying the new challenge, and all of the great experiences with the students.
I am currently working on my masters in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology at SUNY Albany and plan to complete my degree by the end of the summer, 2021.
My Topic and Purpose
My topic for my mini course will be flipping the science classroom using google applications. While being hybrid/blended learning this year, the students are in school half the time, and the other half at home doing school work virtually. I knew that I wanted to make the time that students got to be in school rewarding, engaging, and exciting. Especially during stressful times, I wanted students to look forward to coming to school to learn science. This is why with Google Classroom and Pear-Decks help, I flipped my classroom, to allow the students to do interactive lessons and explorative lessons while we were in class leaving the virtual days for students to complete interactive notes at their own pace. Giving students the notes and information on virtual days has also allowed me to individualize some of the notes for students, to give them the choice on what information they want to learn more about. Flipping the classroom has been very rewarding for me, and I would like to share the research behind the flipped classroom and teach others how to incorporate google classroom to create interactive at home lessons that will allow time for students to engage in hands-on activities while in-person. While hybrid learning or traditional learning the flipped classroom can be a great way to keep science engaging and interactive.
Scope of Learning Outcomes and Content
By the end of my mini-course I hope that the learner can feel confident in their ability and their reasoning for flipping the science classroom. In my course I would like to start by focusing on why teachers should flip their science classroom and the research behind it. Flipping the classroom has found to be positive in allowing students to work at their own pace with information, more individualized lessons, and more time is opened up during class time for inquiry and more in depth science projects (Angelone, 2019). I will include the chance for the learner to reflect on their classroom, and their ability to incorporate engaging hands- on activities. I would then incorporate google classroom and google applications such as PearDeck, and discuss the important role these applications play in the virtual lesson for students. The learner will then create their own virtual lesson that can be interactive and individualized for students using google classroom and Pear Deck. The learners can then brainstorm activities that they can do to go hand in hand with their virtual lesson.
With the changing demand for online learning, teachers should be able to create individualized and interactive online lessons for students in order to flip the science classroom to help create true science learning experiences. Fulton (2012) states many reasons to flip the classroom, including the ability for students to work at their own pace, whether that be to take their time with the class notes or students who are advanced can spend less time on the notes. One student said this about the flipped classroom, ‘I personally like that I can get through the lesson quicker than when we have...class lecture. Then, when I do the homework in class, I can have help right away, which means I ask more questions’ (Futon, 2012, p. 24). This goes hand-in-hand with Tucker (2012), a chemistry teacher, who states that the flipped classroom allows him more time to work with students in the classroom, and individualize the help that can be given. Students are now doing their ‘homework’ in the classroom, which means that students are not struggling with the homework, giving up, or leaving the homework incomplete with misunderstandings’ (Tucker, 2012, p. 82). Fulton (2012), describes the importance of using technology to present these lessons. When using technology applications to get students their lessons, it is available for all students online, at any time. Students who are absent can access the lessons. Because students do the lessons on their own time, the lessons can be individualized for students and allow students more options to how and what they want to learn. Tucker (2012) also describes the importance of leaving class time for exploration, problem solving, innovation, and collaboration in the classroom, which is a key component of a deeper understanding and the learning of science that the flipped classroom can provide. But, in order to create the flipped classroom, teachers must have an understanding of not only the endless benefits, but on the application and integration of the flipped classroom.
With the forceful application of technology this year, many teachers within my district have been overwhelmed and stressed causing little desire to learn and embrace the integration of technology in the classroom. As a currently blended/hybrid learning setting (every other day virtual learning) teachers were encouraged to use their virtual day as a day to just give reinforcement assignments from their time in the in-person class. One science teacher in particular for example, out of the 120 minutes of class, lectures for 80-100 minutes, and uses the virtual days as homework days. These long class periods should be used for the incorporation of hands-on experiments and exploration in science. Other’s flip the classroom by sending a video for students to watch on virtual days. Incorporating other applications that would include greater interaction with students and the material is what is lacking with many flipped classroom approaches. Many teachers feel that they do not have time to learn the new technology in order to create interactive lessons for the virtual days. Very few teachers use interactive technology to create lessons. Where there are many teachers who are ready to switch back to traditional homework when school goes back to full time, continuing to flip, or beginning to flip the classroom, can be very beneficial to the students and the teachers specifically science teachers. Being able to allow students to learn at their own pace at home and free up class time to work with students one-on-one and have the time to facilitate students in deep science problem-solving and exploration would be invaluable. Even when we do not need to be online, it would benefit teachers and students for teachers to understand and appreciate the application of the flipped classroom and incorporating interactive online activities to implement it. Farjob et al (2019), found that teachers first coming into the field of teaching, are not well prepared for integrating technology into the classroom, but while the skill level is low, the will to be able to learn was strong. Nelson et al (2019) states that teachers will be more likely to integrate and experiment with different technological resources when they can do so with support and technological resources that will be beneficial and encompass their own content area. Incorporating the flipped classroom specifically within the science field will encourage more interaction and participation within the course.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
The learners that will participate in this course will be science teachers who want to learn how to create a flipped science classroom and incorporate technology to create interactive lessons in their own science content area. The motivation of the learner is their own will to learn. Because studies show that teachers are more willing to learn new technology when it is based around their own content area (Nelson, 2019) the design of the course will focus specifically on incorporating the flipped classroom in the science setting. All learners participating in this course will be either pre-service or current science teachers that will have knowledge on their own specific science content area, that would have had some experience in the science classroom. The learners' technological abilities are unknown and therefore in the course design, technology applications will need to be explained and taught more thoroughly. The research and how on the flipped classroom and how to use interactive technology to flip the science classroom will need to be basic. Because the experience with online learning is unknown, the course will be easily navigable. The base of science knowledge that all students have will allow the science classroom portion and implications of science content in the flipped classroom to be more advanced. Examples, reflection questions, and activities will be based around the science content knowledge and science in the classroom.
- After reviewing research and benefits of the flipped classroom, the learner will explain and reflect on their experience in their own science classroom to determine the benefits that flipping their classroom would elicit for them.
- Given tutorials on how to create interactive flipped classroom lessons, the learner will create their own interactive flipped classroom lesson using google applications in their own content area.
- Reflecting on the end result of their project, the learner will determine an explorative activity to use while in class to complement and follow the flipped lesson created.
- Be able to set up, use, and navigate Google Classroom
- Have a basic understanding of scientific terminology in the science classroom
- Have some experience in the science classroom or in teaching and science education
- Be familiar with navigating through online courses and resources
References and Resources
Angelone, L. (2019). Blended Learning in the Science Classroom. Science Scope, 043(04), 58–64. https://doi.org/10.2505/4/ss19_043_04_58
Farjon, D., Smits, A., & Voogt, J. (2019). Technology integration of pre-service teachers explained by attitudes and beliefs, competency, access, and experience. Computers & Education, 130, 81–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.11.010
Fulton, K. P. (2012). 10 Reasons to Flip. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(2), 20–24. https://doi.org/10.1177/003172171209400205
Nelson, M. J., Voithofer, R., & Cheng, S.-L. (2019). Mediating factors that influence the technology integration practices of teacher educators. Computers & Education, 128, 330–344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.09.023
Tucker, B. (2012). The Flipped Classroom: Online instruction at home frees class time for learning. Education Week, Winter, 82–83. https://educationweek.org