The use of internet technology to take the lecturing out of the school buildings so that teachers can spend more time actually interacting with students is a concept called ‘flipping the classroom’. It allows learners to follow the lessons at their own pace, and frees teachers to work more closely with those young people that need more help in a genuinely targeted way. Although relatively new, this concept has potential to transform the way children are educated and learn, and is quickly gathering pace and popularity.
Multimedia technology is key to the success of the flipped classroom, and there are a few factors to consider. Firstly it must be possible to create content that’s then available on demand, available for students to view at their convenience. Cost and ease of use are important too, so that teachers can use the technology to quickly and easily design lessons without massive IT spend and training. Another important element is privacy and security; you need to know that you are sharing content in a secure and safe environment for your students.
Here are three tools to help you create effective, personalised, engaging content, available on-demand, and make the flipped classroom a reality:
Present.me is quite simply your slides, and a video of you presenting them, side by side, on the screen at the same time. On demand, it’s available for anyone to view whenever it suits him or her. Where Slideshare is just the slides and YouTube is just the video, Present.me gives you the opportunity to put both up simultaneously, so you can show your content and talk around it on the same screen. Simple for children and teachers to use, it’s cloud-based so there’s no need to install anything; it all happens in your browser. You upload your content (slides, photos, document) and record yourself presenting into your webcam, clicking through your slides as you go. The results are available to share with the entire class, and accessed by individuals or groups on demand, rather than a real presentation. Using present.me is a safe environment, where you can upload privately and choose who views your content.
Described as ‘a new way to talk to each other’, Branch is a brand new site launched by two of the founders of twitter. Having many similar characteristics to aforementioned popular social media site, but with a longer word limit (750 characters), it allows users to have a more in-depth conversation. Unlike twitter, you have complete control over who joins in that discussion, you have the power to moderate as you go, and you can see the entire thread of the conversation more easily. You also have the ability to add links (to presentations etc) and tweets, as discussion topics. In addition, it’s possible to create separate group discussions.
Built as a tool for businesses to network internally, Yammer can bring classes together by sharing class culture in a closed private network. You now have the ability to broadcast content to relevant groups and create messages that can be viewed at a person’s convenience. The knock on effect is a whole different kind of information is shared in a more casual format, drawing discussion on interesting topics.
With Yammer you can end up creating an enormous shared resource of knowledge. What was previously spoken about and lost on pieces of paper, now sits in a central space, searchable and useful long after the topic has taken place for reference for exams etc.
About the Author
Spencer Lambert, CEO and co-founder of present.me, has run a presentation design consultancy, Slideclinic, since 1997 and has worked on presentations for companies such as Microsoft, Glaxo Smithkline, KPMG and Barclays.