A day at Clintondale!
By Christine Garland
Many of you may have already heard of Clintondale HS. They were featured on CNN in a segment on flipped learning.
Clintondale High School is a flipped school in Clinton Township, MI. Before the term “flipped” had ever been coined, Principal Greg Green realized that the old way wasn’t working (a song we all know very well), and it was time to try something new.
Using TechSmith’s screen capture tools, Clintondale teachers began creating video lessons to be absorbed by students at home, and freed up classroom time for activities and assignments.
After flipping the ninth grade (their initial pilot grade), Clintondale’s student failure rate dropped by 33% in one year. In English, the failure rate went from 52% to 19%; in math, 44% to 13%; in science, 41% to 19%; and in social studies, 28% to 9%. So they flipped the entire school, and have remained “upside down” ever since.
Today the school is a mecca of enthusiasm for flipped learning.
I was lucky enough to be invited out to spend a day at Clintondale on a recent visit to Michigan. I’m proud to say Clintondale uses Remind101, and our relationship with the school has earned me many interactions with Greg over the past year. I’d been wanting to put together a video for Remind101 on how students and teachers have been using the service, and why they like it, and he graciously offered to serve up his school as my subjects.
I should mention - I’m personally a very big advocate of the flipped model. My passion for the change is a direct result of my own experiences falling behind as a student in a traditional learning environment. So when the chance came to both make my video, and experience a flipped school, I was eager for the opportunity.
My first reaction when I arrived at Clintondale was how very normal it was.
There are no 1-1 iPad classes, or even technology carts. Classrooms are not equipped with fancy interactive whiteboards or media stations. The school does not even have Wi-Fi.
None of which has kept them from flipping.
My second reaction was how proud the school was of their success. Teachers, students, and administrators were overjoyed to share the stories of their flipped classrooms.
My third reaction was probably the most important, I’d never seen so much engagement. Classrooms were bustling.
Teachers who had previously worried that they were being evaluated based on how much time they spent lecturing (because that was what a classroom “looked like”, right?), were now enjoying their day moving from table to table interacting with kids directly and experiencing the material in an entirely different way.
But the interaction didn’t stop at the teachers. The students were sharing, guiding and collaborating too. In one class students were put into groups that evenly distributed them based on their grades. Students with A’s were able to help struggling classmates by re-teaching the lesson, and in-turn benefiting themselves with a deeper understand of the material.
Unsurprisingly, the most common response I got from students when I asked if they liked being at a flipped school was that they loved not having homework.
Partaking in lessons at home doesn’t feel like work to them. It doesn’t involve the frustration that trying to complete a worksheet based off a lecture they hadn’t been able to follow used to cause. They repeatedly told me, “If I don’t get it, or I lose track of what the teacher is talking about, I just rewind.”
I’m so appreciative of the Clintondale community for hosting me for a day! The interactions continue to be inspiring.
Check out the fantastic video, filmed and edited by the exceedingly talented Colin Marshall and George Henry, that came out of my day at Clintondale!
Guest post by Ben Spieldenner, Intro by Christine Garland
Huge “THANKS!” to friend and teacher Ben Spieldenner for writing this guest blog post for us!
Moodle lovers - have you been struggling to get the Remind101 widget on your site and getting stuck with formatting issues? Have no fear, Ben’s blog post is here:
Since the advent of the Remind101 widget, I have been trying to figure out a way to incorporate it into the tech resources I use- namely Moodle. At first, I tried to create a “Block” for it on the sides of my Moodle pages only to discover just how frustrating Moodle can become (formatting never worked out well). So, I decided to try something different. I figured I would highlight the Moodle widget. In the hopes of making a few other educators’ lives a bit easier, I have a simple six step guide on how to effectively integrate the Remind101 widget into Moodle.
This tutorial will instruct you on how to post your Remind101 widget in the “topic” section of your Moodle page. Also, remember to do this for each and all of your Moodle pages.
Login and open up the Moodle page where you would like to post your Remind101 widget. Then click on the icon that looks like a hand with a pencil (see image below) in the heading of the “News Forum” (it will be the first topic). In the image below I renamed this section “Welcome.”
“Edit HTML Source”
Now click on the “HTML” button (see image below).
Open a new internet window, login to Remind101 and click on “My Widget” under “Account”
Copy the HTML widget code by highlighting the HTML text (see image below) and pressing CTRL+C on the keyboard (PC) or by right clicking the mouse and pressing “Copy” as you see below.
Paste widget code in “HTML Source Editor”
Go back to your Moodle window where your HTML Source Editor is still open. You may never have seen this before…it’s ok! All you have to do is paste the code you just copied at the end of any text you see on the HTML Source Editor (see image below). Simply place your cursor at the end of the text and press CTRL+V (PC) or right click on the mouse and press “Paste” to paste your code. Be sure to click on “Update” (green button on the bottom of the window) in order for your code to save.
Finally, click on “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.
The Finished Product
You now have your Remind101 widget posted on Moodle!
If you run into trouble or have more questions, feel free to reach out to Ben on twitter!
By: Christine Garland
Last Friday the entire Remind101 team paused our normal tasks and spent a day creating something new for the company. It was great way to finally put to fruition some of the fun ideas we’re always talking about, but never have the time to do.
Here are the fun projects that came out of Remind 101’s first Hack Day:
The Development Team:
Jeremy made us a robot! Her name is Rosie. We can talk with Rosie in our team chat system (we use HipChat), where she is able to answer questions about the status of our servers and delivery in seconds. Rosie can also start Google hangouts, make fun of us, solve math equations, and more.
Ben put on his anti-bullying hat and created filters that detect hateful content, or inappropriate messages attempting to be sent out. As a team, work needs to be done to better train the system on what is and isn’t appropriate. Once done, we’ll be able to add another security layer to the Remind101 service.
Max is our Android developer (more on Max soon). He spent his Hack Day making an Android widget for Remind101 subscribers. When live, students or parents receiving messages on their droid will be able to drag and drop a widget that shows them their unread Remind101 messages in a single feed. Stay tuned.
David worked on building a chat room that displays any tweet where someone mentions Remind101. Now the entire team gets to enjoy the 140 characters worth of pure motivation.
Design and Marketing:
Lindsay and I worked together on a project. Lindsay had the amazing idea to spend Hack Day compiling and sharing nuggets about how texting in the classroom benefits students. So we put together 10 of our favorite stats, and Lindsay created a beautiful website showcasing them. Check it out here.
Brett wrote a blog post welcoming Ben to the Remind101 team, and embarrassing the heck out of him by posting an adorable photo of him at age 7.
It was a great day! So great, that we’ve decided to make it a regularly scheduled activity. We’ll be implementing a Hack Day every 3 weeks. Can’t wait to see what else gets created!
Want in on the next Hack Day? We’re hiring. See available positions here.
Last week we slyly launched our latest feature. The Remind101 widget!
What is it?
The Remind101 widget allows you to display recently sent Remind101 messages on your class website or blog. It’s extremely easy to install and, completely safe to use.
Step 1: Log into your account on any computer and go to “Account”, and “My Widget” in the upper right hand corner.
Step 2: On the next page you’ll see a preview of what your widget will look like when embedded on your blog. To get your embed code and add it to your site, click the blue “Create Widget” button.
Step 3: Highlight and copy the embeddable code on this page. That code is what you will use to add the widget to your class website or blog.
Step 4: Navigate to your class site or blog. Locate where your sites editable HTML code can be accessed. Every website is different.
Step 5: Decide where you would like your widget to be on your website, and find the corresponding code in your HTML view. Once you’ve found it, paste in the code for your widget and update the display.
You’ve now successfully installed your Remind101 widget!
We’re hoping the new Remind101 widget makes communication in your classroom just another small step easier.
Disclosure: The widget is a brand new release for us! So if you run into any bugs, or notice any glitches, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
So excited about the widget you just can’t hide it? Help spread the word about our new widget on your social networks!
Thanks for making Remind101 a part of your classroom communication!
Paul Goodenough teaches 8th grade science at Jenks Middle School
How are teachers using remind101 and what do they think? Here’s an unedited Q & A with Paul, a middle school teacher from Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you’d like to be featured, email email@example.com!
When did you start using remind101?
How’d you hear about remind101?
How do you use remind101 in your class?
On Sunday to let students and parents know what we’re doing that week. Project reminders. Hints to assignments. Updates to directions. Changes to website.
What problem is remind101 solving for you as a teacher?
Parents actually knowing what’s going on. Keeping students accountable of information.
Have you received any feedback from students/parents? If so how do they like it?
They love it. Would like an option to reply if they don’t understand the message. (I supply my Google Number) Maybe a shortcode they can reply with that notifies me of their question so I can contact them.
Do you have any tips for teachers who may want to use remind101?
Made business cards for open house and conferences for parents. Had students bring their phones to class so they could sign up. Added information to my website and posted it in my classroom.
Any feedback for remind101?
Mobile site would be nice. iPad or iPhone app. (working on it!)
Do you have a story to tell? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We think there’s a communication problem in K-12 education. The new remind101 will help fix that problem, but only with your help. If you’re a teacher and want an early invite click here and signup. We’d also love to hear your feedback so leave a comment or email me! (email@example.com)
Expect remind101 to be much faster and easier to use. If you’re interested in signing up for the new site click here and you’ll be the first notified. If you’re a teacher we want to hear from you! Email Brett and say hello or tweet us.
Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or issues.
We’re extremely excited about this and can’t wait to re-launch!
Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon. David and I made the decision to re-design the site based on user feedback. Tomorrow at 12:00 PST the site will be down for a few weeks.