Despite the striking similarity of my videos to that of Sal Khan‘s, this was not my initial inspiration. My introduction to this sort of flipped methodology came from a lecture by Northwestern Physicist, Dr. Tae – Building a Culture of Teaching and Learning – with the subtitle: School Sucks! If you haven’t seen it, it is truly worth your time.
The gist of his message is that the current model of teaching in universities is depersonalizing and the lecture hall cannot engage students. In the traditional model of education, students are presented the material in class while they “just sit there.” Homework is done at home. If a student doesn’t understand something… well, then they just don’t get it because the next day in class is another lecture.
Dr. Tae suggested flipping this approach. The passive material is presented when students are alone at home. At school, students should actively apply the material. And when they don’t get something, they can ask the teacher because she’s right there.
So there are two important pieces here:
- Material students can learn at home
- An opportunity for practicing the material in class under the guidance of a coach (teacher)
The digital whiteboard idea addresses the first point. My introduction to digital whiteboarding was this incredible piece of artistry.
Of course, I don’t have artistic skills to do this (this is the Royal Society of the Arts, after all), but I don’t need to draw that well. I just need to package the ideas in a way students find accessible. That’s what we’re trying to figure out on this blog.