Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Flipped-Mastery Approach

It turns out the flipped classroom and the mastery approach are like two peas in a pod. Chemistry teacher Jonathan Bergmann has "flipped" his classroom--putting the lectures online and using class time to help students with assignments. And he has found that this approach not only allows more one-on-one and small group-teacher contact, it also facilitates the mastery approach to learning.

As Bergmann summarized elsewhere:

"The technological progressions led to the introduction of another transforming instructional adaptation. With such a large library of lessons available, the two teachers decided there was no reason every student had to watch the same vodcast on the same night. They implemented what they named a "mastery learning model," which allows their students to work through the material at their own pace, and when they are ready-- having finished all the assigned worksheets, done all the labs, and completed the small-group demonstrations with their teacher-- take an exit test at the end of each unit to prove comprehension. "They have to do 75 percent or better," Bergmann says. "If they don't, they go back until they get it.""
With this approach, is there any reason a student couldn't take more than one year to finish a course? Is there any reason he or she couldn't finish in less than a year and move on to a new course?

And the power of the mastery approach was established by Bloom in 1984. Students under the mastery approach did one full standard deviation better that students in the traditional classroom.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 2012 DLIC Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Frank Krasicki, Bruce Silva, Nancy Silander (early departure), Lou DeLoretto (early departure), Bill Green, Doug Melody, Jojo Phillips, Brad Martin, Tim Nolan, Alan Trotochaud

Bruce Silva opened the meeting by talking about the initiative to introduce WIFI throughout the school.  The Request For Quotation is done, the narrowing of vendor candidatesis in process, and a preferred vendor is identified.

Hopefully this will result in a Summer WIFI install.  This, however is not a given.

We took a look at the teacher survey on the DLIC blog.  More questions are needed and those that already exist need to be vetted by the committee.

We took a look at the Technology inventory spreadsheet and discussed how we might identify the quality of usage of the equipment.  This may require the intervention of a standing school committee.

Policy issues:  Alan asserted that the school needed policy to govern digital practice.  The committee intends to harvest existing policies from other school districts to formulate our own.

The strong consensus was that we prefer teaching and advocating responsible internet usage rather than creating unenforceable rules and regulations - in other words, build better digital citizens rather than cyber-handicapped teens.

We had a discussion about what teachers think important policies might be.  Lou promised to deliver an existing survey that might prove useful.

Access issues:  Jojo raised the issue that the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy might discriminate against less fortunate students.  Bruce’s research indicated that this is historically not the case.

School phone use:  In a rather humorous aside, Doug responded to a discussion about cell phone manners of students by pointing out the committee’s own cell phone dependencies.

We watched this Will Richardson inspired video:

Learning:  Doug reminded us that we were losing sight of the intent of the committee - to address the issue of learning.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Technology In Class Survey

In the right hand column of this blog is a link to our in-class technology survey. You are all welcome to add questions you believe are worth asking. We are trying to assess how richly the internet and other digital tools are being used at EO Smith. Be part of the process by asking a good question. If you are a faculty member. Feel free to comment.

Tuesday's DLIC Agenda

 We're meeting from 5:30 - 7:30


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Welcome Digital Learners

This is the first post in what will become a narrative on digital learning initiatives at EO Smith High School in Mansfield, CT.

We hope to feature all of the innovative classroom activities that are happening in Region 19 as we discover them and as they emerge.

This blog is brought to you by the EO Smith Digital Learning Initiative Committee.  We consist of Students, Faculty, Guidance, Administration, and Board of Education members.  As you can see this Committee is hands on and will continue to be.

 - Frank Krasicki, chair