Flipped My Keynote

Tech.it.U is a premier educational technology conference (and Penn State grad course) designed to inspire and generate practical classroom ideas that “will help you teach with power and focus to impact students’ futures.”

“Thank you for making us think. You taught by example.”

I was asked to give the closing keynote on my Taxonomy of Reflection at this year’s, week-long conferenceKeynoters typically show up, explain their model, answer questions, etc. If all goes well, folks leave with an understanding of the ideas you pitched to them.

Transfer of content is easy in the digital age, it’s processing the learning that’s the challenge. So I elected to flip my keynote. Why not use one of the strategies I recommend to teachers? (My slide deck on flipping your class)

To flip my keynote, I gave Tech.it.U participants some advance reading about my taxonomy. Then I used my two hours – not to present, but to put them through a variety of experiences to provoke their reflections. For example, we studied a mid-19th century primitive painting to see how students “feel” when they are asked to construct meaning when they lack background knowledge. LearningCatalytics, a BYOD-based response system, made it possible to harness the power of peer instruction and compare our reflections. 

So how did “flipping” my keynote go? I asked participants to reflect on the experience. Here’s a few of their responses:

  • What a great end to the week. You had me engaged throughout the presentation. The hands on activities with partners, the discussions or arguments with peers, and the videos were perfect. Each of these items had me analyzing, applying, understanding, and evaluating information.
  • Wow! I loved how interactive this keynote was. My brain is on overdrive trying to think of all the amazing things I want to try first. You bring a plethora of fresh ideas and thoughts.
  • I truly appreciate that throughout your presentation you modeled the kind of instruction you proposed we use with our students. That is my favorite way to learn!
  • Very inspiring presentation. Great thoughts on ways to flip the instructional model. … My head is spinning with ways to implement some of these strategies.
  • What an engaging presentation! Learning catalytics is wonderful! I had so many “aha!” moments and it triggered many engaging lesson ideas.
  • I wish more people would champion the idea that students should be responsible for their learning and that teachers should be the facilitators of or catalysts for this to happen.
  • Wow, what a great thought provoking presentation. I love the idea of turning the responsibility of learning over to the students. I am going away with multiple ideas on how I can recreate myself as an educator for my students.
  • Thank you for making us think. … You taught by example.

2 Replies to “Flipped My Keynote”

  1. I was at this conference! Thank you for taking the time to come and work with us. My colleagues and I were talking about all the great things we wanted to use in our classrooms after listening to you. The painting was very interesting to discuss. I was amazed at all the different ideas that were generated in that one activity.

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