Monday, May 28, 2012

Flipped Pessimism: What are the opponents saying?

Tonight I was able to sit down and have a Skype conversation with Michelle Naidu (@park_star on Twitter). You can also read her on her blog at 

Michelle is a high school math teacher in Saskatoon and has described herself as a "Pessimist" regarding flipped teaching. I am intrigued by this statement, so I was excited to talk with her.

These are the questions I asked her:

1. You call yourself a pessimist regarding Flipped Teaching. Can you explain this statement?
2. Do you see any benefit to using a flipped approach?
3. How do you see technology being best used in math education? 
4. Do you use a wiki as a class textbook?

Unfortunately, I ran into major technical glitches in this recording! I had planned to get into Khan Academy with her, but did not have the time.

Thanks again to Michelle for her time.

Please, post your comments and thoughts below.


  1. I really like the idea that you had a conversation with someone who has some opposition or deep reservations abut your own position. People seldom do this, and it is an important way to test our ideas. It's interesting to see how the idea of "flipped" can be interpreted differently. I think that's one of the big find different ways to "flip" classrooms. Off-loading conventional teaching to video that is viewed in off-hours is one way, and probably the most typical model we have seen. But are there other ways to go about it that won't require students to watch hours of video. Is there a way to reduce the amount of conventional content engagement as we devote time to other activities in the classroom?

    In other words, is there a way to do a double - flip?

    This is consistent with Michelle's question whether flipped teaching in this way is really changing anything--really doing anything beyond flipping teaching and homework time.

    This is a very interesting post and a most useful interview. Tech question: What did you use to capture the Skype recording? SnapZ Pro?

  2. "Is there a way to reduce the amount of conventional content engagement as we devote time to other activities in the classroom?"

    That's the big question we have to consider. Do we need the convential content at all? How much of it do we need? I think the answer to that question really depends on the students and the actual course.

    I think the nice realization in the discussion was the part when I discussed how the students don't actually watch many of the videos. This signals to me that students are benefiting from more than just the videos. The benefit is from the new approach to the use of class time.

    I used Camtasia to record it. That turned into a disaster. The file got up to 8 GB in size and stopped because my hard drive was full. My audio and video also went after 17 minutes! Interesting experience. I salvaged what I could.