10 April 2011

Live in Concert

I have been conducting the Flipped Classroom for a total of 4 months right now and it is has been relatively successful.  I have been fortunate enough to establish a strong relationship with many of students, one of which has been brave enough to send me her honest feelings concerning changes she would like to see in how the class is won.  One of her comments has really stuck with me.  She said, "It is like comparing listening to a recording of a concert and being at the actual show--it's the same music, but totally different
environment and SO much more memorable when you are actually there in front of the performer."  She was referring to the fact that she was having a hard time remembering information from the podcasts because the way I teach helped make the information easier to recall later.  So this got me thinking:  has my class lost its focus?  In other words, have I been doing such a great job of "putting on a show" that I was drawing attention away from the learning?

Randomly, one of my Twitterverse friends, Justin Tarte (definitely read his blog!), posted the following:  "If attendance was not mandatory, would students come 2 your class?"  And then totally unconnected to this, a former colleague, Brad Campbell, posted this cartoon.

So the question really becomes why do students really come to school?  If given the choice, would they just stay home?  With all of the resources that are available on the Internet (podcasts on youtube/khanacademy, wikipedia, open source textbooks), I wonder how many students would come to school driven simply by their intrinsic motivation to learn.