Sunday, June 29, 2014

FlipCon14 Reflections - The Sessions Day 2 (Wednesday)

You can also see the collaborative session notes from other attendees here.

Wednesday was my crazy presenting day.  I had a session, one off, a session, lunch, a session, one off... I am looking forward to being able to check out the archives of all the ones I missed!

Session C - Showcase for Sophia Learning - Free Resources for Flipped Classes
  • Resources - Playlist and Slides
  • I had a great time working with about 10 teachers and teaching them how to make a Sophia tutorial and make/embed Google Forms.
Session D - 
Will have to catch on the archive. It's a little crazy trying to deal with escrow paperwork while at a conference!

Keynote #3 - Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams
Jon and Aaron shared about how flipped learning is really about the intersection between content, curiosity, and relationships.  You really need all three.  Content is still important (some people believe that students should have free reign over what they learn, but I believe that most students don't necessarily know what they don't know).  Curiosity is also important - sometimes we get so stuck on keeping students in a box with our "prescribed content" and not letting them explore.  But most importantly, good teaching is about relationships and that is the glue that will help make everything else more meaningful and rich.

Six of us also got to share for a few minutes each.  The focus of the stories were on the intersection of Content (Steve, Kristin, April), Curiosity (me and Tom), and Relationships (Delia).

Session E - WSQing your way to #FlipClass Success
I had an amazing time sharing with everyone about the WSQ.  We survived a few technical difficulties, including my #cheesebucket "forgetting to make the collaborative GDoc public and the computer being too slow to change it during the presentation".  We started off with Kahoot! which worked fairly well (I was a little worried with the network and the virtual) and gave the audience an idea of how I might start off my class.

I hope what stuck out in people's minds was that the WSQ is just a tool that I have created that helps me to:
  • Organize content and materials
  • Hold students accountable for actually watching
  • Give structured processing time
  • Gather feedback from students
  • Prepares for and facilitates discussion among students during class time

There are a lot of different ways you can achieve those goals, and the WSQ is what I've found works for me. Most importantly, those five purposes allow class time to be a more effective learning environment, more engaging for all learners, and more enjoyable to be in. I hope that everyone who attended is able to take a slice of what I shared to use in their classes.

Touchcast interview 
You see mine here.  Go "back" and "forward" to see lots of others!

Session F- Student created videos
I was able to catch the 2nd half of Stacy and Eric's session on student-created videos.  I am still in awe that Eric's students make these videos purely out of choice, with no extra credit given.  I'm not sure why my students make such a big deal out of them (still)... it might simply be because it is so new to them and that = scary.

I asked Stacy how many videos her students make and she said about 8 per year.  So, that's about 1 per month.  I think that's a good amount to not get overwhelming but still have students do them enough to improve in making them and see the process getting easier so they can focus on the content.

Closing - FlipCon15 is in Michigan!

I wanted to archive the tweets from my session on WSQing, so here they are.  You can see the full archive of tweets (thanks to Brian Bennett!) at

FlipCon14 Reflections - The Fun Stuff (take 2)

We're going to see if I can get the pictures to actually show up and tell the story this time!

*Thanks to Christina Seigel, Cara Johnson, Doug Ragan, Ken Bauer and Lindsay Cole (and many others on Twitter) for sharing their pictures in the FlipCon shared picture folder and helping me to tell the story of the conference in this post...              
Well, I've finally made it back from my journey across the country for my first "In-Person" FlipCon... and it was a blast!  I think part of my excitement was simply meeting so many from my PLN face to face for the first time.  We played a "Bingo" game that I quickly went crazy on and hunted everyone down to meet them.  Out of the 25 people on the BingoBoard, there were 15 I had never interacted with outside of Twitter before.  And, there were a LOT of people NOT on the BingoBoard I was privileged to meet. (P.S. If you took a picture with me and haven't yet put it in the shared pic folder yet, please do so - I want to include them here!)

My completed Bingo Board!  I had everyone but Eric Marcos the first night... and then found
 myself sitting right in front of him at Troy and Rob's Peer Instruction Session!

This blog post is all about the fun, hanging out, and collaboration!  I'm working on another one with the sessions that will be finished sometime soon...
[I am usually a rampant picture taker, but after I got Bingo I kind of just let everyone else take the pics... so I am still waiting for some pictures to be shared so I can add them to this post :)... hint hint!]

I decided to make a collaborative FlipCon14 picture folder, so you can see some of the exciting happenings and lots of selfies here.  I'll pick out some of my favorites to put in the blog post below.

 So, let's see...

I flew in on Monday and met up with Heather Witten in Colorado for my layover.  It was quite entertaining telling our third seatmate (as we were talking up a storm) that we had never actually met face to face before and we only knew each other thru Twitter.  Some people just don't understand...

We got into Pittsburgh, which I learned is not spelled Pittsburg, and drove 30 minutes to the lovely Cranberry Township to our hotel.   The conference was held at Mars Area High School, about another 10-15 minutes down the highway.

Jon, aka "Flipping Physics" himself!
The first event was the Opening Reception, which was thankfully held at our hotel so we didn't have to travel anywhere.  I had just gotten sick the weekend before, so I was starting off the conference a little under the weather but the excitement kept me going.  Here are a few non-Bingo pictures from the reception:
Awesome Panoramic Picture
And all of us looking at the awesome panoramic picture...

After the reception, the town of Mars closed down their main road and invited us in. 

(Just a little excited that #FlipCon15 is in Michigan...)

We got to meet the Mayor of Mars

I guess this was the biggest thing to happen in Mars in 17 years, because there was a newspaper reporter there!
You can read a different online article here.  And ANOTHER article here!

The Mayor of Mars even came to the conference on Tuesday and declared it FlipCon14 Day!
Both days at lunch we got to sign books!  That's right, Jon and Aaron's new book, of which several of us got asked to write a chapter for, was released at FlipCon14!  You can purchase the book from Amazon here.

Tuesday night we had an event at the Carnegie Science Center.  There was a ton to check out but we ended up chatting most of the time instead of exploring.  Oh well!

And just acting like a robot...
And basketball against a robot...

Playing Air Hockey against a robot... I did score once!
I'm an astronaut!

Trying to find your way home in a different city in the dark in the rain while trying to text with your husband and skype with your son is not very fun...  Plus the fact that 10 power lines fell over due to the storm right outside our hotel and the exit was closed so we couldn't make it back until we circle around the city lost for quite a while... Oh, and that the exit was then closed for the next 2 days while they were still working on it!

  What better way to end the conference than a dinner out with everyone left?  Most people flew out Wednesday night (or attempted to...), but those of us leaving Thursday enjoyed an evening at LongHorn Steakhouse before departing... Until Next Year...

A few random pics from conference fun:

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