When Magic Happens

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January 16, 2016 by Dr. Robbie Barber

Magic does not happen when I show others how to do something.  I’m the teacher, “the expert,” the person who pushes, begs, cajoles for others to DO something.

Magic happens when someone else takes that first step and does something new.

This past semester, the teachers who join me every Friday for a baked good and a technology lesson have been focused on flipping the classroom.  (Yes, I got the order right – they come for the baked goods first.)

What is flipping the classroom?  It means having students review something to introduce a subject or concept first, and then having a class discussion or activity.  Rather than standing in front of the room to talk, a teacher can provide a movie (self-created or from the internet), a picture, a document, just about anything to initially explain the concept.

One teacher decided to take her PowerPoint over Winter break and make it a movie by recording narration and saving it as MP4 video.  I provided the microphone headset and simple instructions.  She said it took a long time the first time until she realized it wasn’t going to be perfect.  The results were students learning on the computer first, complete with instructions on where to write their questions.  The first movie was 10 min. long.  It had loud clicks in it and hesitations from the voice.  And, the students LOVED it.  Magic!  She’s hooked.

My magic happened when I used, with her permission, the video for our weekly technology session.  Wow! Seeing a colleague do it, simply, effectively, was, well…MAGIC!


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