As an elementary teacher and technology facilitator, I know the excitement educators feel when they want to implement new technology into their classroom. Typically, most teachers are eager to learn and try new things at the beginning of the school year. This year, I am eager to flip my classroom and teach my students using a different technology tool than I have in previous years.
First, let’s review: In a flipped classroom, students watch recorded lectures or other purposeful videos for homework and complete assignments and tasks associated with the video in the classroom. In past years I've struggled with how to disseminate the videos in a safe way that allows students to watch them in their own time while also holding them accountable for such assignments.
This summer at the Curriculum Pathways Teacher Institute, I discovered Crio -- a Curriculum Pathways resource that allows teachers to create interactive, online resources that hold students accountable for their learning experience. Crio is a game changer in the field of education and will help me easily flip my classroom. Here are four reasons why.
- Embedded Video: When teachers flip a classroom, it is often difficult to decide on a safe and easy way to make video content available to students. Having students search for videos online is quite often inappropriate and risky. Providing students with links to videos can also be problematic: often the links break or are no longer working when students try to use them. Crio eliminates all these issues: you simply embed your videos and provide supporting information and instructions. You can embed multiple videos using Crio's “tab” feature to clarify the order in which you want your students to view them. The picture below is a unit on infectious disease in which I used Crio to flip my classroom.
- Accountability: In a traditional flipped classroom, holding students accountable for their video assignments can be difficult. Without an accountability element, teachers are often unable to gauge how many students have watched the videos. Crio solves this problem by enabling teachers to embed questions in various formats. Once students have seen the videos and answered the questions in their assigned Crio lesson, they turn in their work to the teacher through their portfolio.The following question types are available in Crio: radio buttons, check boxes, drop down, true/false, short answer, long answer, and math-science. Crio also allows you to embed Google Forms as well.
- Portfolios: Crio is a part of Curriculum Pathways, and as such it generates a digital portfolio for every student. Students work on assignments at their own pace, and Curriculum Pathways automatically saves what they've done. If they don’t finish in one session, the work they do complete is saved to their portfolio so they can pick up where they left off when they have a chance to tackle their assignment again. Once their work is complete, they can turn it in through their portfolio. With Crio, students can see their work and growth over time, making the flipped classroom so much more than simply watching videos to prepare for class.
- One Stop Shop: Crio is a one stop shop. I don’t have to worry about creating a website, housing links in different areas, or placing my student-accountability piece in an easy-to-find platform. Crio allows me to share all the videos I want to use to flip my classroom in one central location. With Crio, I can do everything associated with creating a pedagogically sound flipped classroom in one place, at one time. Crio makes creating a flipped classroom effortless.
As I gear up for another school year, I'm eager to try many new approaches; however I'm most excited about using Crio to flip my classroom. Crio, Portuguese for create, will make it easier than ever for both myself and my students to participate in a flipped classroom. I can’t wait to get started flipping my classroom.