It’s been one of those days where everything comes together. I have spent the day working on Expedition Workshed site, in particular a new blog aimed helping us have a better dialogue with the teachers who are using the resource in their teaching (I will post a link to the blog when it is ready in a couple of days). At the same time, I have been contributing to discussions related to a new paper that we will be publishing that sets out a model for understanding how structural engineers learn.
And now this evening I have been reading this interesting blog post (http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/the-flipped-classroom-model-a-full-picture/#entry)about the Flipped Classroom model for teaching, in which material usually delivered during the lecturers and in class is instead delivered via online resources, freeing up classroom time for problem solving, group work, debating, creating and communicating. The post has some overlap with the paper that we are working on, and has got my cognitives whirling away thinking about how Workshed can be used to deliver the at home content.
The post sets out a cycle of learning with four stages:
1. Experimental engagement through hands-on activities, games etc
2. Concept exploration through content-rich website, pod-casts, online chats etc
3. Meaning making through reflective blogging, podcasts
4. Demonstration and application through creative personalised projects and presentations.
So here’s my idea (and hopefully before too long I will be able to try it out). I would like to create a lesson plan for s series of activities that teach school children about construction materials and the fabric of their school.
The first stage would be a series of games and discovery activities using the fabric of the school is a stimulus. Learners could for example try to make a model of their school building out of paper, and see what they need to do to make it stronger.
In stage two they would go away and find out about materials and basic structural forms using the resources on Workshed.
In stage three would answer quiz questions about materials and simple structural forms using the interactive tools on Workshed.
In stage four, they would come back to the classroom and work in groups to develop their own design for a new school building, creating a poster or a model, and presenting their proposal to their classmates.
Whilst I have developed teacher packs before based around the design-and-build methodology, this post on Flipped Classrooms has motivated me to think about how the design-and-build can be more thoroughly split out and developed. I look forward to giving it a go.