Beginning the transformation

Helping students understand the possibilities of them being in charge of their education is step numero uno!

If you look back to my previous post here you will see that my first flipped experimentation happened exclusively in the band hall. Students were certainly encouraged to visit the site outside of school, but I wanted them to sort of accidentally begin to visit it on their own.

The website was a HUGE deal in the beginning – it was discussed daily. We also had numerous discussions about the idea that with this type of learning, students are put in the drivers seat of their education. This is the point that I believe caught student attention – they get to be in charge of something. They get to be in charge of their own education. They get to decide how educated they will become.

I certainly don’t want anyone to think that I woke up one day, decided to flip the band hall, and that all of my students hopped on board happily with huge grins on their faces. It was a process for all of us to start together. That process had to begin with some video instruction inside the classroom first.

If you have flipped your educational environment in a different way I would love to hear about it – there is certainly more than one way (especially in creative education like this!) to make a huge change like flipping.

Once we had been using video instruction materials from the website for about a week the trickery began. Since all of the videos we were using were under the same umbrella topic on the website, I casually left the videos up on the screen while we moved on to something different. I made sure that the funny cat video that I put on the website was visible. Eventually, and very quickly, the kids started to ask about what that video was. Eventually, and very quickly, they started begging me to watch it. My response was easy: “go watch it on the website”.

It is so fun to trick kids into doing things that will be good for them! Maybe they will just watch the cat video…but maybe, just maybe, they will click on some of the other videos as well. If the stars are all aligned, they will learn something new. Posting cat videos? Totally worth it! Also, cat videos are extremely amusing – at least you can potentially get a kick out of it 🙂

Note: any amusing video will likely work, I picked cat videos because I find them particularly hilarious. I have since moved on to many other varieties of amusing youtube video that work just as well.

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