Monday, November 23, 2015

Flipped Parent-Teacher Conferences

Flipped Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are an exciting time to build relationships with parents, learn more about their child from their perspective, and communicate what I have seen in their child up to that point. One of the drawbacks to conferences is the lack of time to have these conversations. Many teachers are limited to conferences lasting for about five minutes. In five minutes I could not describe my class and the expectations while still being able to listen to parental concerns and advice about how to best meet the needs of their child and that is why a few years ago I began to flip my parent-teacher conferences.

Click here to watch the full video.

I decided to flip parent-teacher conferences so that I could (hopefully) eliminate the classroom procedural portion of the conversation and focus on the discussion of the student. I used Doceri on my iPad and took screenshots of the various content I wanted parents to know about prior to our meeting: our weekly assignment board, Edmodo page, grading categories and scale, and how they would view those two in our grading system, Infinite Campus.
*Using my iPad and green screen in my classroom to make a flipped parent-teacher conference video. Video is finalized using TouchCast.

*I used the camera on my iPad to take a photo of my classroom whiteboard to add to my video.

*Using Doceri on iPad, Doceri is in capture mode. I used the pen feature to black out students names and then took a screenshot to use in the final production of my video.

*I brought up Infinite Campus on my computer, which was mirrored on my iPad. Doceri is in capture mode and then I used the pen to black out student names and the class section.

What I love about Doceri is how easily I am able to make screencasts. I search the web for photos to add into the background and import them into my projects, or I bring up the screenshot I want on my computer and it is mirrored on my iPad. Then, using Doceri’s capture feature, I make notes on the image and take a screenshot of what is on my iPad at that moment to become the custom picture I want to display. When I had all of my screenshots ready I loaded them into another program, TouchCast so that I could make a video using my green screen and school photo as a background. I posted the video to my YouTube channel and sent the link to parents through Infinite Campus messenger.

At conferences, parents told me they enjoyed being able to get a student-view of what was taking place in our classroom. Instead of me telling them in person that it was important for students to post course work and comments on Edmodo, they could see an actual Edmodo page. As I was explaining in the video how grades were calculated and entered, they could see an actual example from Infinite Campus and these examples helped free up our conference for what really mattered-the progress and development of their child.

With the amount of parents that attend conferences, I knew that there would most likely be a line of people waiting to have our conference. I wanted to give parents the opportunity to watch the flipped parent-conference video if they had not already done so. I posted a sign instructing parents to watch the video that I had cued on my iPad and encouraged them to pass it on to the next group as they waited. Using Doceri, my iPad and TouchCast gave me more time in each conference to focus on the student and not the procedural workings of my classroom.

Click here to read my "Teacher Feature" on the Doceri blog.