November 26, 2016
A Flipped Learning Journey Featuring Jeremy LeCornu
Flipped learning is a big deal for classrooms today. Our digital students love the accessibility, freedom, and convenience of having open access to recorded lessons. It engages and rewards them on the levels they expect in their learning. With the technologies and hosting platforms we have today, it’s just getting easier to do all the time. In that respect, teachers like Jeremy LeCornu should feel especially proud.
Jeremy is the Digital Learning Coordinator at South Australia’s Brighton Secondary School. He’s been a middle school science and senior biology teacher for 6 years, now in his seventh.
“As Digital Learning Coordinator I am responsible for the successful integration of digital technology across the school. Professional learning for staff is a main focus,” he says.
Jeremy loves this role since it lets him interact and work with staff from all curriculum areas. This kind of collaborative environment is nothing new to him, either. Originally from Henley High School, he spent 5 years there as manager of their Gifted & Talented Program, and also as a Quality Teaching Coordinator.
A Brighter Path at Brighton: Jeremy LeCornu's Journey
Brighton Secondary School boasts 1500 students and 100 teachers. They’re an Apple school in which all Yr. 8 and Yr. 9 students use iPads, and Yr. 10–12 students have MacBooks. All teachers have both of these at their disposal.
Jeremy strongly believes in the assistive power of technology in the classroom. He encourages other members of the staff to experiment with it as much as they can. “I am passionate about incorporating digital technologies into the classroom to transform learning opportunities,” he tells us. “I also love to share my experiences with other staff and inspire them to have a go.”
“The unique aspect of my role is that it is purely focused on the teaching and learning side of tech and not the tech support and infrastructure side as with the traditional IT Coordinator role,” he claims. “This enables me to focus all of my attention on improving teaching and learning through the use of technology in our school.”
A Flash of “Flip-spiration"
Things really began to transform for Jeremy’s students when he made the decision to begin using flipped learning via YouTube lessons. He now has his own YouTube channel with a host of engaging lessons he has recorded using his own home studio.
Here is a 10-min video outlining Jeremy’s journey to discovering the flipped learning classroom:
“Why does a student need to memorize 'What is Mitosis?' when they have a device in their pocket with all the answers? What they need are the skills to be able to locate and interpret meaningful and relevant information. This was the idea of digital citizenship.”
Among other things, Jeremy learned about the eye-popping statistics of YouTube’s content explosion, and how our digital students engage with YouTube for various purposes. “He talked about the fact that, in some ways, we have moved beyond the 'Google generation' and entered the 'YouTube generation'. This really resonated with me.”
The Next Steps
Jeremy quickly realized the most effective way to maximize his students' potential was to immerse himself in the YouTube environment. When he first began creating and posting his recorded lesson content, he was using only an iPad app. But things have a way of falling right into place when you’re on the correct path.
“After a trip to the U.S. funded by an award I won for my success as Early Career STEM Educator of the Year, I met a very successful YouTube teacher named Tyler DeWitt.” DeWitt created the YouTube channel Science With Tyler DeWitt that currently serves up terrific science video lessons to over 100,000 subscribers.
It was after this meeting that Jeremy came back home and fashioned his first in-house studio. He now uses it to produce high quality video lessons that his students find both helpful and engaging.
Jeremy is able to cite some very significant benefits that flipped learning has provided. Thanks to his YouTube lessons, his students now enjoy:
- Anywhere, anytime access
- Self-paced learning
- Deeper understanding
- More individual student attention in class time
- More class time to focus on critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Excellent resources for testing and exam revision
What Are Students Saying?
The other unexpected and exciting aspect, Jeremy says, are the comments he receives from other students all over the world. “Knowing that I am helping so many students is an amazing and very rewarding feeling.”
Here is some of the praise students are giving to flipped learning:
"I think one of the benefits of having a video lesson is if someone is a visual person, it helps them heaps! When going through a topic you use pictures, and when talking about it in class, it's not always as visual."
"I find them useful because I can go over what I learned in the lesson, and if I missed anything the lessons are clear and easy to understand."
"You can watch them to cement the content that has been covered in class into your head. There is also the added benefit of being able to pause and record notes as needed. If you ever miss a lesson, the videos can be used to help you catch up as they are accessible from home."
Due to the success of Jeremy's efforts, Brighton Secondary now has a teacher recording studio set up in the school. “I imagine this would be the first of its kind among Australian schools,” Jeremy says. “It’s really cool.”
And he doesn’t plan on stopping there. According to Jeremy, this year will see him spearheading a school-wide flipped classroom program comprised of smaller 3- or 4-member teacher learning communities (TLCs). Each group creates their own recorded lessons and implements them into flipping their classroom.
Jeremy provides the teaching staff with training in different techniques for content production. He says this new TLC flipped learning program enables staff to spend plenty of time reflecting on their teaching, and discovering the best possible ways to deliver content in their recordings.
He couldn’t be more pleased with the results so far. “Teachers are very excited about it. There has been minimal resistance because they can all see the benefits, and it is instinctive for teachers to collaborate with each other and develop their pedagogy.”
Jeremy LeCornu is the Digital Learning Coordinator at South Australia’s Brighton Secondary School, and an avid supporter of using technology to enhance classroom experiences for students and teacher alike. Check out Jeremy's YouTube channel for examples of his work.