Within a week of moving to Atlanta, Georgia in the summer of 1991, I distinctly remember walking into a Waffle House and hearing a new language. It was the language of “breakfast food.” I yearned to participate in the hubbub of the tiny diner and in no time was asking for my side of grease errrrr… hash browns, “scattered (spread on the grill), smothered (with onions), covered (with cheese), and chopped (with ham).”
Lately, I feel like I am walking into the Waffle House of instructional delivery, but this time the terms are not clearly defined and, thus, difficult to navigate.
At Via Response, we believe that we will succeed by listening to lecturers’ needs in new instructional delivery methods and varied pedagogies. As a result, we have had over one hundred meetings with lecturers, professors, deans, and educators. As we listen to lecturer challenges, it is clear that there is a crisis in defining burgeoning delivery methods. We find that we are defining instructional delivery terms, in each conversation, to establish common framework for that discussion. We know that we are not alone.
Some of the more lively discussions on Twitter and LinkedIn of late have been a rigorous definitions process on instructional delivery options. We love interacting and listening to others who are also actively involved in the defining process utilizing heuristic techniques. Together, we can all build the terms for implementing the solutions of tomorrow!
With Via Response’s focus on bridging formative participation, collaboration and assessment in and out of the classroom, we thought it would be helpful to put together, to our best ability, a brief description of each and combine where possible.
21st Century Learning and Education
We see this as an umbrella term. We often hear about “digital learners” and, in our discussion, it appears most new delivery methods and designs discussed fall under this term. In a sentence, 21st century learning helps define the collaborative learning environment that no longer has to be defined as a single physical location. Time constructs and distance become increasingly irrelevant.
These two terms are the most defined and accepted. Wikipedia does an excellent job of defining them. In a nutshell, it is instructional delivery utilizing classroom, online(e-learning), and increasingly mobile learning(m-learning). Unlike the 21st century learning term, blended learning doesn’t seem to sufficiently define a physical class that utilizes Interactive Classroom Technology (ICT) but does not necessarily utilize online and/or mobile learning technologies.
Probably the hottest, least understood and most varied term currently being discussed. Flipped learning was “coined” in 2004 by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams. The lectures are recorded through lecture capture software and constructivist formative learning tools are utilized to help establish a baseline for students when they arrive to the physical classroom. It is a way to engage digital learners. The class time is utilized for student interaction and group activities. While the term has been applied to Khan Academy, it is unfortunately a misapplication. While the Khan Academy lessons can be incorporated into the lecture capture and learning tools, it is a component of the instructional design of the flipped classroom. Peer-to-Peer learning is emphasized and this model works well for classes that utilize labs. It is also possible that Flipped Classroom delivery will work equally well with much larger classes with the integration of technology and solid professional development for instructors.
We welcome your input as we relentlessly push for brevity and clarity. You can post a comment in this blog or send us a tweet at ViaResponse. Our goal is for all of you to have the confidence I had walking into any of the 128 Waffle Houses in Atlanta and ordering in the language of breakfast food. We need to work together to develop the language of the 21st Century Classroom.
Derrick Meer, COO, Via Response Technologies