Failing forward with flipping

Next week, a colleague and her students will be visiting the library to print Six Word Memoir spiral bracelets. They’ve yet to use the 3D printer, and so, I’d like to share some background about 3D printing before they create something. My idea was to create a “jog through the web” kind of scenario. I found the information I wanted to share, organized tabs in a way that made sense, and using Camtasia Studio, I screencasted my way through the web.

Dare I share with students

What resulted, I’m afraid, is a boring and way too long video about a topic which originally had the potential for being anything but boring! I may be better off using What is 3D Printing and How Does it Work, adding some additional thoughts, in addition to explaining the activity.


My first year as a school librarian, I distinctly remember sharing flipped instruction with a colleague who happens to be a math teacher. And I also remember her reply…”How will I know if my students watch the video?” In addition to access to technology issues, which existed in the district seven years ago, it was not going to happen.

It seems in education that conversations ebb and flow-I haven’t heard about flipped learning in a while and was surprised that the conversation is still a lively one. I’m also glad that the flipped model has moved to something which looks more like a blended learning approach. No matter, the concept fosters student agency and allows for quality instructional time.

My personal experience with flipped instruction is in creating “how to use a tool or resource videos”, which I actually do quite often, (and often on the fly). My plan is to “professionalize” these resources and embed them in my library website. Through video, each student can decide what works best, whether listening to the whole thing before starting, or stopping and starting through out a procedure; either way, they can re-listen whenever they want. In addition, I’ve  used tools such as edpuzzle to annotate content related videos, (created by others!), to emphasize particular thoughts or add thinking questions. Often I’ll use tools such as Versal, to upload annotated videos and add google forms for feedback where appropriate.

Creating engaging video content is far from easy! First thing I learned is the need to create a script, which I obviously failed to do. Not only would it keep me focused and save wasted rerecording time, but hopefully it would also keep me from over annunciating words! Agh!

I’m so glad to know that  Vlog Brother’s videos require a professional studio and professional studio people to create their videos. The good stuff isn’t easy!

7 thoughts on “Failing forward with flipping

  1. Hi Deb – I love how you make a point to say that you allow the kids to figure out what works best for them. I can relate to that with a recent happening here at my home. With a new baby in the house we have had LOTS of “things” to put together: swings, strollers, cribs, etc. My husband is the “start putting it together, read the directions when I don’t know what the heck comes next” kind of builder. I am the “read all of the instructions first and then put the item together…then re-read as I go along” type of builder. Just between the two of us, your point is proven that we all don’t need to watch the entire video first if that’s not going to be the best way for us to learn. Such a great point you made! 🙂 Katie

  2. You are right on with having a script. It does take some practice to look natural and not look like you are reading. I agree with Erin that winging it with a few key points in mind sounds natural and you can have some improv fun just like you do with teaching. The problem with winging it is in the classroom I have 43 minutes and when flipping I have 5.

  3. Deb,
    I appreciate your honesty. I can’t even count how many times I re-recorded my video because it sounded too boring – and yet I think the final product sounds boring. I think we have to be careful in how we use the videos, which is why I am not sold 100% on flipping everything in my classroom.

  4. I definitely understand where you’re coming from about having a script. At times it can be important and keep us on topic…but I never really use one! When I’m recording for my kids, I try to sound like myself, joke around, and add in little bits of music or slides. Sometimes I make mistakes and just edit them out, but kids don’t really care either way! For me it helps stay on topic to jot down a few bullet points, sometimes. For a more formal video, I think I’d need to practice a script a few times!

    • This was Erin Gardner, by the way! My WordPress username doesn’t have my name in it, and I keep accidentally using it to post!

  5. I totally agree Dave! There are ways we can make found video our own, by using annotation tools, which may be a better option in many cases!

  6. Hi Deb, I can’t open your link! I’ll respond to what you wrote in any case.
    Thanks for you honesty. I agree there are huge dangers with creating video content that doesn’t shine or keep students’ interest. I’d probably stick with curated content for much of my flipped content. I have linked to a couple of cool tools that allow for sychronized note taking with any YouTube video. I think that this may allow us to link to the best existing content we can find and allow them to use it for learning. I love Tedtalks for older students.

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