A recent post by Melinda Miller about her flipped faculty meeting helped me reflect on other potential impacts of the flipped classroom model. She essentially took care of what she called the “nuts and bolts” of her meeting virtually by allowing participants to independently read and review information and view multiple videos. The idea behind the flipped classroom or faculty meeting is to allow for a richer dialogue in the actual classroom or meeting rather than wasting time on delivery of basic information.
As a principal, I too tried to take care of basic information prior to meetings through emails or other forms of communication. However when I reflect back, I realize I didn’t fully embrace technology in all possible ways. As I read Melinda’s post, I began to think about the powerful ways technology can provide the opportunity for flipped communication with other stakeholders. Research has shown the benefits of effective communication with parents. Have you and your school embraced technology to communicate in new and more effective ways? Here are three ways to use technology to increase parent communication. The suggestions may stray a bit from what many people views as the flipped model that simply presents information in basic ways.
1) Create a YouTube channel with multiple purposes.
- Share general successes and challenges with parents.
- Have students create videos or screencasts reviewing content.
- Create videos that address common questions or concerns that arise throughout the year.
2) Create a class twitter account to share classroom or school information. Have students take responsibility for the account!
3) Set-up a flickr account and share images, when appropriate, of student work, guest speakers, and even notes from the whiteboard.
Obviously, it is also important to note that not all parents will check these various communication methods just as some parents don’t read newsletters or letters home. As I wrote this post, I realized I moved away from the concept of simply sharing basic information virtually. The ideas above, along with many others, may potentially help you to create “meetings” in ways that were not always possible. Whether you are a school administrator, counselor, or teacher, these things may potentially allow you to strengthen the community within your classroom or school by embracing the technology tools that are readily available to all.