Flipping the Science Classroom Using Google Applications

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ETAP 623 Spring 2021 (Byrne)

Shannon Cameron - Portfolio Page


Course Overview and Introduction

I chose to teach this coure on Flipping the Science classroom because of the postive impact interactive virtual lessons have had on my classroom and my teaching this year. As technology is incorporated more and more into the traditional classroom, it can seem stressful learning and deciding what applications to use, but once you are familiar with all of the opportunities that are opened up to use interactive applications to flip the science classroom, teaching becomes more explorative and fun for you and the students. While being hybrid/blended learning this year, 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 the flipped classroom through google compatible applications to create interactive at home lessons that will allow time for students to engage in hands-on activities while in-person. Wheather hybrid learning or traditional learning the flipped classroom can be a great way to keep science engaging and interactive.

In this course you will begin by exlporing the research behind the flipped classroom specifically in the science classroom. In Unit two you will explore different google applications that can be used to interactively flip the classroom, and determine which application might work best in your own classroom, and finally you will create your own flipped science lesson to compliment an exploratory, inquiry based activity to complete with your students in-person.

Needs Assessment

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.

From my findings through research and personal interactions among teachers, the pressure to incorporate greater and greater technology in the classroom can be overwhelming without time and support. Many teachers as well are not aware of the plethera of applications that are available to provide students with interactive online lessons to ehance 'traditional homework.' 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. A course on incorporating these interactive virtual lessons would take help teachers to incoporate these interactive lessons with ease. 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 help pinpoint and focus on the teachers who want to spend more time in class on experiments and explorative lessons with students.

Prerequisites for this Course

Before engaging in this course, be sure that you are familiar with lesson planning in your content area as well as obtaining a Gmail account to sign into some of Google compatible platform tryouts for different virtual applications.

Create your free Google Account here: Create your Google Account

Here is a short tutorial on signing up for your free gmail account:

Course Units and Objectives

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: Flipping the Classroom in the Science Setting

By the end of this unit you will be able to determine benefits of the flipped science classroom after reviewing research and teacher accounts of the flipped classroom. You will then reflect on your experiences in the classroom and determine how the flipped science classroom will benefit your teaching.

  • 1.1 Students will review research on the flipped classroom in science.
  • 1.2 Students will view teacher accounts of the flipped classroom.
  • 1.3 Students will reflect on their own classroom in order to determine how the flipped classroom can benift them and post thier thoughts to a classroom blog.

Unit 2: Google Applications to Flip the Classroom

In Unit 2 you will interact with various Google Applications that can be used to create interactive flipped science lessons and determine which applications would best suite your needs in your classroom and begin to brainstorm a final product for the end of unit asssesssment.

  • 2.1 Students will brainstorm, reflect, and research exploratory labs or experiments that they could incorporate into their face-to-face classroom, and provide a lesson plan for this activity.
  • 2.2 Students will view different Google Compatible resources and Google Classroom tools to use to create online virtual homework assignments as viewed from the student perspective.
  • 2.3 Students will reflect on their science classroom and choose one platform that would best fit their classroom needs.

Unit 3: Creating your Flipped Science Classroom

By the end of Unit 3, you will use your chosen google application to create a interactive flipped virtual lesson to compliment an interactive in-person activity for your students.

  • 3.1 Students will view tutorials on their chosen application and begin to build their virtual homework lesson.
  • 3.2 The student will use their chosen google application from Unit 2, and create a lesson based on the information needed to complete the chosen activity in class the next day.
  • 3.3 Students will write a self-reflection on their experience and end product in creating a flipped classroom lesson.

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

Google. (2021). https://www.google.com/?safe=active&ssui=on

How to Create a Google Account (2020–2021). (2020, December 13). [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoX_DXqBbQU

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