I recently undertook a challenging experience and presented at the national FlipCon Australia conference on the Gold Coast ( #FlipConAus). It was an amazing experience in personal growth, reflection and networking.
I presented 2 workshops: “How we flipped and you can too” and also “Flipping for Free”.
You might ask how I ended up facing this challenge, well in simplest terms it was with a very firm shove. I was approached by my previous principal at the beginning of this year with a flyer to apply for a presenters spot at the conference and my initial response was sure I want to go but surely I am not qualified enough to present at a conference like this.
Previously I have run numerous professional development and workshops but these tend to be at a school level not “national”. However with much encouragement I applied to present and much to my astonishment I was accepted, which caused me to reflect on the fact that maybe I did have experience that was worth sharing with other like minded individuals.
When I arrived at the conference for the pre-workshop day (a totally invaluable experience) I was astounded at the scope of representations attending the conference. For some reason I had imagined that it would mainly be Queensland educators and in the first hour I learnt that attendees had travelled from all other states to be able to network and plan for a future that incorporated flipped teaching into their classroom.
On my first day I attended a full day workshop run by Joel Speranza (@joelbsperanza), and I was inspired by the depth of knowledge that he presented and the quality of his presentation. In the mean time I was also conscious of the fact that this was what I was going to be “competing” against in my workshops. In this one day I learnt plenty and was able to reflect on my practice. Thanks to Joel I gained new perspectives on aspects of flipped learning and how it can be incorporated into classroom practice in way that I hadn’t considered and also consolidated for me that I was well on my way in my flipped teaching journey.
My first session presented my thoughts about planning for a successful flipped classroom. This was the session that I felt most confident about and you can see a great synopsis here: https://c21stteaching.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/flipconaus-review-day-three-part-one/
Even while presenting my session I was consolidating principals of flipped teaching for myself and convincing myself even more of its place in our current education system.
My second session was not quite as successful, and I think this was mainly due to the fact that by the time I got to present my session I had been so overwhelmed by the number of technical aspects and sites that you can access to assist in flipping a classroom that I just felt under qualified to present any such session. So instead I focused my session on more reflective aspects and planning again for the technology that you would need to have a successful flip without the need to invest large amounts of money. If I was to present this workshop again I think I would have done a better job, but as with this blog I hope that most attendees of my workshop went away with at least one thing that helped them.
It was unfortunate that I didn’t get to attend any workshops run by Jeremy LeCornu (@MrLeCornu) as I definitely enjoyed networking with him and listening to his responses along with Joel’s on the secondary discussion panel.
In finalising this post, #FlipConAus was absolutely worth attending and the networks that I was able to form are going to serve me very well in the next year as I embark on my next challenge of getting my school to integrate the use of ICT’s productively not anecdotally into the classroom.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” (attributed to many)