Flipping Iceland

I, along with my daughter Kaitie, had a chance this past week to share about Flipped Learning with educators in Iceland. Kaitie is 18 yrs old and has come to several events with me to add to the conversation. She has been in my flipped science classes when she was in 9th and 10th grade. She adds greatly to the conversation as I share with others. She has written a blog about her thoughts about the flipped classroom. We conducted a one-day workshop at Keilir School. The principal, Hjalmar Arnason has flipped his school and he has a passion to help all of Iceland flip. Hjalmar organized the workshop in which we had around 500 attendees who got their first exposure to flipped learning. The morning primarily consisted of presentations by us, but also by a few teachers and students who have started the process of transforming their classes using flipped learning. Iceland is a relatively small country, so getting 500 educators in the same room represented a significant portion of all Icelandic educators. The afternoon was filled with small groups of teachers who went through a series of questions about what and how they should go about implementing flipped learning. Kaitie and I circulated amongst the groups and answered questions and dialogued about how flipped learning pushes best teaching practices. I was struck by the fact that many of the same issues US teachers face are also faced by Icelandic educators. We all have trouble motivating students. We all are trying to do what is best for our students. On the second day I met with Hjalmar’s staff. They are really doing well. One of his staff, a pilot trainer, shared how his students have scored higher on the “state” test than ever before. People have been asking him what he is doing to get his students to achieve at such a level. I think Iceland is poised to become the first country to flip their schools. The seed has been planted and it looks like Hjalmar and his staff are prepared to guide their country to true transformation.

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