Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Letter From the BYOD Trenches

Today, I received an e-mail from Chris Hoffman, one of our 8th Grade Math Teachers at Valley View Middle School. For the last 4 years or so, Chris has been working to flip his curriculum. Last year, he included a project where students created a video example for all of the power standards in his course. He also built an AP Statistics course from scratch, and included many videos to assist students as they worked through the curriculum. Based on his student's performance, it was very successful! I asked him permission to share his note with my readers, and he said it would be ok. 

I do the flipped classroom. After a brief agenda overview and summary from the video lessons I help students with homework for the bulk of the 85 minute block and today, their practice test for the upcoming unit assessment. The two students in the photograph spent a few minutes with me working on reviewing sign changes when solving equations in algebra. I mentioned they should transfer what we reviewed on my mini-white board onto a paper notecard for their test. They asked if they could take pictures of it instead. I said absolutely. Moral of the story, flipped classroom instruction done right is very powerful. Encouraging vs. discouraging use of devices in the classroom to supplement learning is part of that power. I hope that as a district we don’t get overly rule-based with respect to allowing students to access devices in the classroom. If there is a problem with them in the classroom, my guess is that it is a function of classroom management versus the use of personal devices.
 
Chris Hoffman
Math Teacher

Chris is a shining example of a teacher implementing our eLearning2 initiative to personalize learning for students in Edina! 
We will continue to work with staff on ways they can incorporate devices into their curriculum, and develop classroom management strategies to unleash student's passion for learning!

Well done, Mr. Hoffman!

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