Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Inaugural Post

Hello All-

This is my first foray into the wonderful world of blogging!  My name is Brad, and I am a middle school social studies teacher in Illinois.  I am in the middle of pursuing my master's degree in educational administration, and I have fallen in love with educational technology.

If you are looking for me out there on the web, here is where you can find me:
@bradjacobson23 on twitter

I am in the process of working myself back into the daily routine of teaching.  Over spring break I was diagnosed with MS, and have been working hard to get myself back on track physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I can say with confidence that my students helped me get through this difficult time.

Before I had gotten sidetracked with my own problems, I was working on flipping my classroom.  I read the book Flip Your Classroom:  Reach Every Student in Every Class Everyday, by Johnathan Bergman and Aaron Sams.  

Get it Here!

That's the link if you want to buy it.  I downloaded it to my kindle.

I created six videos about the American Revolution which are on my youtube channel.  I used Windows Live Movie Maker, which is free, to make them.  From there I used a usb microphone and my SMART Board to annotate and make comments.  I created a mascot so to speak as well.  I paid for a subscription to, a movie-making website.  I created Mike, the History-Loving Robot as a comic relief and just goofy character for my videos.

Mike is my announcer, sort of the Ed McMahon to my Johnny Carson.  He also is featured in his on account on Edmodo.  He communicates directly to my students through Edmodo and also indirectly on my videos.

We'll talk about Edmodo later.

The first thing I learned about flipping is that it takes time.  It's not going to be perfect on the first try, so don't try to be perfect.  SAVE EVERYTHING!  I saved everything I made until I was sure I didn't need it any longer.  

Flipping is taking time, but in the end I del like the instruction is going to be better.  The time spent pays off when it comes to differentiation and grouping as well.  

I'll paint a better picture of what I have done in the future, but for now I will end by saying that it is important that you know your audience.  My kids need entertainment and variety, and my flipped videos try to do that.  Boring them in class with a lecture or outside of it with a video does me little good, so I made sure to win them over.

Take Care,
Mr. J.

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