To Flip or Not to Flip, That is the Question!

Kari Arfstrom, Ex. Director, Flipped Learning Network, Washington, DC

Pat Semple, Upper School Librarian, Bullis School, Potomac, Maryland

Pat: Flipping allows me to spend more time with students, build relationships with them.

Her school is BYOD for Middle School and Upper School. Lower School uses iPads.

Her environment is heavily digital.

Kari Arfstrom, quick overview of Flipped Learning

Ben Stein video being shown — awful lecture.

Classrooms: Used to sitting in nice neat rows, looking forward at lecturer [kind of like the conference room setup]

Many classrooms today are chaotic, project based learning.

Flipped learning: built in the trenches, for and by teachers/librarians

Why do we have so much unprecedented change in education? Lots of different examples on slides.

What is the best use of your face-to-face class time? Better…

  • practice
  • discussion
  • assessment
  • instruction
  • application
  • remediation 

Time shifting the direct instruction… 

So isn’t that blending learning or online or virtual?

All of these are specific methods, techniques, that involve technology and learning.

Online — online – little interaction.

Blended learning — missed her definition.

Flipped model: interaction with the students and teachers have together — this is the key piece.

Flipped learning occurs when direct instruction is moved from the group learning classroom to the individual learning space. Moving from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered learning environment.

[Thought: Could the Library 23 Things programs be an unintentional example of flipped learning, before this concept existed?]

Flipped learning IS NOT all about videos.

Some teachers will front-load videos, some will share them in the middle, or some will share them at the end. Some are asking students to help create videos or find them. Up to the teacher for when these videos can be used.

Digital Divide. If one-to-one initiative exists, everyone has Internet access, the buses have Internet access, this is great. But what if you don’t? Making sure students have Internet access some way (not that they DO the homework), but just that they have access to the Internet. This is still a HUGE issue in many parts of the country.

Different ways of recording the videos: showing computer, whiteboard, chalkboard, or videoing face, or tiny face.

25 minute lecture during might be compressed down to 8 minutes — much shorter.

Ex. PE teacher has a flipped classroom – Pickle Ball video.

Does flipped learning propagate bad teaching (lectures)? If the teacher is bad yes, good, no.

Is flipped learning THE answer? No, it’s ONE of the answers.

Still can have discussion, project based learning, socratic method, or other methods. What works for you? For your students? Find your style as a teacher.

Bloom’s taxonomy — can time shift remembering/understanding down the time level.

Flip your classroom book

Lots of webinars on this teaching method available online at the Flipped Learning Network website. Flipped conference in Stillwater, MN, July 17-19, 2013. Workshops. More!

Foundations of Flipped Learning — blended learning course available

Pat Semple

Too much time on general information, not enough of her. Also wanted to get into answering questions well why isn’t Wikipedia a good resource, ec. She taught the basics of using citation software, setting up accounts beforehand, and many other things, etc., using the flipped model.

Side perk: not being a classroom teacher & 500 students, could have more relationships with students. Talk about their topics, getting the information kids need for research.

Solution: use websites alot, her school uses Haiku LMS — hard for the librarian to use this, so she set up as her resources website.

Flipped learning allows me to set up groundwork beforehand. Gotten feet wet, and have questions and problems that many are sharing. Allows students to pick and choose.

She can help students much more now. She does a better job, doesn’t have to give the lecture multiple times of day, and wants to be the value-add to the students.

[I really need to read that Flip Your Classroom book. Wonder how this method could be used in professional development/continuing education settings with adults.]

Creating a Culture of Innovation presentation (SMSD School Librarians)

Here are my slides and other related info for an inservice presentation given to Shawnee Mission School Librarians.

Libraries and Enchantment

My dear friend and colleague Buffy Hamilton gave a talk on Enchantment and Libraries at ISTE 2011 and the video is finally online! All librarians need to see this talk. It gets to the heart of our mission, regardless of our library size, type, location, or community served. May it challenge and move you as much as those who have seen it and heard it have been moved and challenged already.

In her blog post, Buffy also provides a link to her enchantment slidedeck and a quick overview video of Guy Kawasaki’s “Enchantment” book.

Managing Professional Information Overload (NEKLS Workshop)

“Struggling to keep track of all the content you need to read, watch, listen to, and share professionally to stay up-to-date, but can’t manage it all? Learn about five free, online tools, including Evernote and Diigo, that can help you manage professional information overload.”

These are the resources from a presentation I gave at the NEKLS Summer School Librarian Workshop on July 14, 2011.

Librarians Know How to Find Stuff

Using Innovative Techniques to Promote Information Literacy and Student Buy-in

Matt Upson (formerly of Miller Library, McPherson College) and C. Michael Hall (who couldn’t be present)

Creators of Library of the Living Dead

Guide can be printed from here

Downloaded 1.3 million times. Cited in LJ, SLJ, ALA journals.

This isn’t how to make a comic. It’s more to inspire the audience to do what works for their libraries & inspire creativity. The comic book worked for McPherson College.

Developing the relationships.

Quotes from Education Nation; one by George Lucas in the foreword & George Leonard quote on p21.

“We want students to know how to find information, how to assess the quality of information, and how tto creativiely and effectively use information to accomplish a goal.” –George Lucas, foreword to Education Nation

“We must consider the possibility that students are justified in being bored, that we have been too cautious and unimaginiative….Perhaps the moment has come to show our young people that school [or a library] is where the action is” p21 of Education Nation


Before Matt came to McPherson, the library was pretty deserted; didn’t come into study; didn’t even know the library existed. Handouts in in-class instruction were about as useful as a seatbelt in trying to reach students.

How to get the students in the building?

They published a comic book.

Mike was an illustrator, non-conventional student.

Introduction to the book explains the purpose of the comic book/guide.

Made it attention-grabbing, yet informative. Followed the ACRL standards.

It was a small college–they saw a need and tried to meet it.

In creating a unique guide, break stereotypes, poke fun at yourself.

12 page introduction to the library. Their attention was grabbed. Then the instructional handouts are then incorporated into the comic book.

Goals to do so…

  • Provide an excellent intro to library services
  • Be creative and a little irreverent
  • Save time
  • Encourage familiarity with the library
  • get students involved in the process
  • let the students know that the library cares about their academic success and is actively involved in their education
  • quality product
  • took the talents they had in-house to develop it

Unintended Results

  • Well over 1 million hits — provided great marketing for McPherson College
  • McPherson wants to hand these out at college fairs
  • Unique artifact that no other school has.
  • Advocacy tool. Unique resource that grabs the attention of your school board or board or leaders.
  • Other libraries are now using this tool; didn’t plan for it to be utilitarian.
  • It looks fantastic as a digital version on mobile devices and tablets.
  • Quickly got around library community, as a digital resource, thanks to social media.

Milton Chen comment: This is proving: A lot of the best curriculum can be taught through story.

Back to the comic.

They took cues from the real library, photographs, photos of people to build it. The characters are never named. It’s just a story in a familiar place. Students were transferred over into comic form.

Get your community involved

  • teaser poster of the cover
  • Facebook
  • Signing Party: 40 students showed up
  • QR Codes

He contacted LJ, American Libraries, pestered them to look at his resource. People finally did and wrote about it, and it took off.

He’s connected with many people all over the library community in the US and the world.

Anyone can use it and has, in their libraries.

What can you do?

  • Fun: The OH COOL Factor
  • Different: Make them (students, faculty, parents, admin) see the library in new ways
  • Quality: do something that can be done well
  • Involvement and Buy-in: include reps from all areas of your school. Who are the stakeholders? Can you find a sponsor or collaborator?

Can share your ideas and resources with the entire world, even unexpectedly.

They are working on comic guides for several other libraires.