Today, the Christmas cookies hit the fan so to speak…..
It is a cold, grey December day. There’s chill in the air, the kind that nearly freezes you to the bone.
Typical mid western weather in December.
It’s early–only 8:10 a.m. In comes my little flock who look half asleep. The students aren’t chatting with each other and certainly not with me. I ask how everyone’s evening went and no one answers.
No feedback to me that’s for sure.
(Pause) I have a theory about this–if I don’t speak to the teacher it is as if the class isn’t occurring. I can stay “checked out.”
Mwwaahhaaaa….they don’t know me, though.
I go through the day’s list of activities and I must say, it is a long one.
The first thing I mention is forums. One of the high school kids looks bewildered, but the girl beside him restates it for him. (I have no idea why she feels she must restate what I say when I am standing right there and can do it for him myself, but hey she is 17 and doesn’t everyone know EVERYTHING when they are 17?)
Sorry, I digress…
I’ve never had the opportunity to use a forum with a class. I was hesitant at first, only because I didn’t understand how the students post and reply.
I now understanding why forums are crucial to a flipped class.
Checked forums off my list! Forums give you the feedback a teacher is seeking.
When I was a student, we spoke to our professors out of respect. My parents made it clear to me to respect my elders and even as an adult, I am aware of any adults who are older than I who should be treated with the utmost respect for their wisdom and age.
I wasn’t raised with a cell phone in my hand.
Telephone calls were kept to a minimum and calling long distance was an extravagance. My father was a doctor so we could afford those state-to-state telephone calls, but regardless I wrote letters.
We learned how to write a letter when we were in elementary school.
Is letter writing even taught any more?
No texting, either.
As we all know, the technological world has changed tremendously over the last fifty years.
In all defense of these students, the art of conversation isn’t something they are used to practicing. (We’ll practice conversing the last day of the semester. )
I can all ready see how a forum is a fantastic method of communication. For those of you unfamiliar with them, it is truly brilliant. The teacher poses an article, video clip and/or questions he wants the students to ponder. The student is required to make one post regarding the teacher’s post and replies to other students’ replies as well.
Ladies and gentlemen–we have conversation!!!
Forums are essential to a flipped class.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DeborahBaldwin.net