• Sue Glascoe on the Role of Smartpens in the Flipped Classroom

    08/29/12

    Sue Glascoe

    Last week, eCampus News featured an op-ed by Sue Glascoe, math professor at Mesa Community College, about her experience in flipping the classroom. Sue addresses the successes and challenges she faced in transitioning from a lecture-style class to a flipped approach — getting students to watch pencasts outside of class didn’t always prove to be easy!

    Sue has always loved technology and is constantly looking for tools that will help her students. She began thinking about teaching a blended course three years ago when she got a Livescribe smartpen. She found it easier to answer students’ emailed questions by responding with pencasts. This way, she could explain math problems while sketching them out. She started uploading the pencasts to her website, and she had soon assembled a library extensive enough to allow her to completely flip her classroom. She began assigning her students to watch pencasts for homework, using precious class time to work with students one-on-one or in groups.

    Sue addresses the challenges of the flipped classroom in the op-ed — initially, her students met the extra work with resistance, and some even dropped out because of the new workload. Yet students who did prepare outside of class eventually thanked Sue for the change. Since her students were familiar with the material before coming to class, Sue could tackle harder problems with them during class time, and as a result students’ grades went up. The class average on the semester final went up 20 percent the semester Sue flipped her classroom.

    According to Sue, “Flipping the classroom is not a one-size-fits-all magic cure. But for the students who want to improve in math, flipping the classroom allows them to reap the benefits of the extra work they put in before attending class…Students are used to sitting and listening and a flipped classroom can be a bit of a shock to students at first. Ultimately, a flipped classroom does not come easy for every student, but with a little guidance and structure to get everyone on board, it certainly helped more of my students to succeed.”

    Read the full text of the article on eCampus News here. Sue’s been featured here on Livescribe’s education blog before — check out “the beginning of her Livescribe pencast journey” here. And finally, here’s a link to Sue’s own website.

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