I have been thinking more and more about flipped learning these days. Also, I have identified my favorite tools for flipping. Here they are!
1. My smartphone: My old Samsung S5 is one of the best tools I have for working, learning and teaching. I don’t know what I would do without it since in it I check my Twitter account, I have my Linkedin profile, I watch YouTube videos and more! Also, I have apps like my QR code reader, my dictionary.com, planner, Google docs, and of course Blogger! My smarphone is the “school in my pocket” as someone said today in a training session I attended. My smartphone allows me to learn on the go. I flip with my smartphone because I plan lessons in it and I ask my students to use it as a learning tool as well.
2. Screencast-o-matic: This is my favorite screencasting tool. I bet there are many other tools that allow for much more elaborated screencasts, but I frequently ask myself the question that Aaron Sams usually asks: ” Do I want the video to be perfect or by Monday?”. As I’m regularly in a hurry and trying to juggle a myriad of other tasks as well as screencasting, this tool helps me to easily create my input videos based on previously prepared Power Points, my feedback sessions using an annotated word document and my videos using just the webcam option. Screencastomatic is easy to use and it allows me to create 15 minute videos and upload them to my YouTube channel right away. It’s very user-friendly and it’s free. For those reasons, screencastomatic.com is my favorite tool for creating my flipped class instructional materials.
3. Movenote: Just as Screencastomatic, movenote.com is an easy-to-use presentation making tool. I know sometimes students get tired of seeing the same tool and they want us to use some variety. Thus, having Movenote as a second option for input video creation is really good. Movenote has its limitations, though. It allows me to share slides, which is good but not the screen. Anyway, there are tools to do that. So, if you are thinking of a tool to create very nice presentantions, Movenote is your site.
4. Zaption: What would be a video with no interactivity in it? Before Zaption, I used to write questions on my slides and hoped for students to hit the pause button when I said so abd a swer the questions on my slide. However, I rarely went back to check the answers to those questions: who has time in an online class that just has 1 synchornous hour a week? So, I just hope my students did what I asked them to and trusted. Now, I have a way to make all that and still be able to check who watched the video, how many times and to read the answers to the questions I ask for every video. Zaption adds great interactivity to your videos and even though there might be other fabulous tools, Zaption is easy to use and doesn’t require you to create a class to put your videos in. It generates a direct link you can just share with students. Flipping learning with Zaption makes your input videos interactive and the data the platform offers helps you set the ground for instruction the following day.
5. Google Docs: I know GDocs is not a new tool, and you might already be using it in an amazing way, but as this post is about my favorite tools for flipping, I have to include it. Gdocs allows me to create active learning opportunities for students. I set up a chart, or a template so while in class, students can just go in and collaborate. I offer input outside of class so when they go to the classroom (or the virtual space), time can be well spent thinking, negotiating, solving problems, doing simulations, etc. GDocs rules!
6. PowerPoint: Not the most innovative tool of all times, but I wouldn’t be able.to flip without my PowerPoint slides. They allow me to share informatio with my students in a visually appealing and academic way. As my students are graduate ones, I don’t think more attractive/animated tools are appropriate for them. Thus, I’ve decided to stick to PPTs minimalistic style for my presentations.
7. Kahoot: How do I hold my students accountable for watching the videos? By using Zaption and Kahoot quizzes. Immediate response systems like Kahoot really add a cool tone to class. Students love the competition. Also, I will explore Kahoot’s new team work feature in future classes to promote collaboration and inclusion (Those who didn’t watch the video might benefit from working in teams).
8. Google Hangouts: I have decided to offer different input materials for students in the MA program where I currently teach. One of those input materials are interviews with experts in the fields of CALL, Self-regulated learning, Academic Writing, MOOCs, Instructional design, Blended learning, etc. I decided to record the interviews using Google Hangouts on Air so they are uploaded to YouTube directly and students can access them through my channel. This idea was shared by Ken Bauer, who uses this strategy in his MOOC on Flipped Learning.
These are just some of the most common tools I’ve used to flip my lessons. What about you? Which ones have you used? Do you agree with me about the ones I mention?