Summer Sessions Inspire Fall Lessons For Teaching Lab Participants

Above: Faculty participants participating in a video conference discussion during the summer Teaching Lab.

This September, a handful of Regis teachers elected to start the school year a bit early, as part of the school's second Summer Teaching Lab. Six teachers, representing four different departments, gathered together for a full week in the interest of developing digital resources for their classes.

The Lab placed a special emphasis on the "flipped classroom", a recently developed teaching strategy that uses technology to increase student engagement. A "flipped classroom" model has teachers creating video content for students to watch and take notes on at home while classroom time is used to practice skills and engage in collaborative work. Considering the effort required to make polished and effective videos, the Teaching Lab offered participants the time, space, and resources to develop these tools.

summer-lab-02The six participants for the Lab were Mr. Frank Barona and Ms. Kathryn Humora from the Science; Mr. James Kennedy and Mr. Justin Kiczek from English; Ms. Karin Miller-Lewis from Fine Arts; and Dr. Fernando Gomez-Herrero from Languages. Most, with the exception of Ms. Humora, had no previous experience in "flipping" a lesson.

Mornings were spent listening to and learning from other Jesuit educators who had experimented with a "flipped classroom". Even the presentations themselves harnessed technology, as several of these meetings were connected through online video-conferencing tools. Educators from St. Peter's Preparatory, Brebeuf Jesuit, and Brophy Preparatory helped the team see the "flipped classroom" through an Ignatian lens, particularly since the model encourages more teacher-student interaction.

Afternoons were spent pursuing projects on both an individual and collaborative basis. For example, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Kiczek, and Ms. Miller-Lewis worked together to develop a video on writing a thesis statement, while Dr. Gomez-Herrero created a suite of applications and videos to teach Spanish verbs.

Several teachers are already putting some projects into practice, allowing them to work more closely with students in class on essential skills.

This was the second year of the Summer Teaching Lab. Last year, twelve participants participated in a variety of workshops designed to stimulate creative and innovative approaches to teaching. From that experience, the six participants of this year's Teaching Lab chose the topic of "flipped classroom" to further pursue.
Below are some samples of content developed through this summer's Summer Lab workshop:
The Regis Thesis
How to Read a Sonnet
Seeing Shakespeare and His Time
Chemistry Intro Lesson

Posted: 10/21/15