Packed to capacity in rows of student desks with hands poised for note taking on laptops and iPads, teachers from Catholic elementary and secondary schools on their summer break were getting tips on how to create a technology-enhanced “flipped classroom.” The workshop at Loyola Marymount University was one of 50 offered Aug. 5-8 at the second annual archdiocesan Catholic Communication Collaboration (C3) Technology Conference, drawing more than 500 teachers, catechists, archdiocesan staff and parish volunteers interested in improving their tech skills for use in education and evangelization. Rethinking educationIn her Aug. 7 keynote talk titled “The Future of Technology,” Eileen Lento, worldwide director of Intel Education Strategy and Marketing, stressed that the use of technology is imperative to help educate students for a world where global issues such as climate change and water scarcity must be solved collaboratively. “We can’t solve these problems without technology, so children really have to be facile in terms of thinking about technology to address these kinds of problems that we face as a world,” said Lento.She highlighted “abysmal” U.S. education statistics where only 69 out of 100 students finish high school and, of the 40 who enroll in college, only 18 graduate on time. Of those 18 U.S. college graduates, just 15 percent are in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors in contrast to China where 54 percent graduate in the STEM fields.“Not only are we not graduating enough kids, we’re not graduating enough with the skills we need,” declared Lento. She noted that 21st century industries and skills require expertise in communication, critical thinking, problem solving and digital literacy.“You have to rethink how you do everything,” in this rapidly changing landscape where there has been an 86 percent growth in computer tablets and more and more schools are starting to adopt 1:1 student/computer initiatives, noted Lento. She added that studies show that children who are exposed to interactive, personalized learning made possible with computer access are generally more engaged in their education, especially when done in a collaborative classroom where students can work on projects in teams.‘Flipped Classroom’Creating just such an innovative learning environment was the topic of an Aug. 8 workshop on “The Flipped Classroom,” led by Edgar Salmingo, Jr., a math/science teacher at Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School (Montebello) and currently pursuing his doctorate in learning technologies at Pepperdine University. Looking at the straight rows of seated teachers in front of him, Salmingo observed that teaching hasn’t changed all that much over the past 20 years, with similar books, homework and classroom set-ups. However, during this same period, he noted, students have changed and adapted to the availability of the Internet, providing ready access to free information and social media sites.According to Salmingo, the future of education in an era where students “have everything at their fingertips” revolves around five tenets:—Learning is personalized to meet the needs of diverse students.—Because students need personalized feedback and work at their own pace, most work is done online.—Information is readily available to the student from the instructor or the Internet.—Instructional videos are options for learning.—Learning is going to be social and situated in context.The flipped classroom, said Salmingo, fulfills these five tenets. Lectures are videotaped by the teacher (or assigned from the Internet) and watched by the student at home, while homework, historically done at home, is now done in class. Teachers have more time to give personalized help to students in the classroom, where students can also work in groups on assignments or projects related to the lesson.Advantages to the flipped classroom, added Salmingo, are many: teaching in the culture and language of tech-savvy students; helping all to excel, including advanced, struggling or absent students; allowing students the ability to pause and review the lesson on video; increasing interaction between teacher and students and student-to-student; providing for differentiation that teachers desire; creating easier classroom management; and giving parents greater transparency of what their children are learning.Salmingo shared three essential elements to creating a flipped classroom: setting up a learning management system (he uses the website; providing engaging class activities, such as projects using @SkypeClassroom, allowing students to collaborate with students around the world; and producing videos with screencasting software. He recommended the free software available at“By using technology, I really think students are learning more and enjoying to learn,” said Salmingo. “I found this class helpful because we’re trying to implement the flipped classrooms, and I couldn’t figure out how to make my own videos and how to upload them, so that was the most helpful to me and the websites he offered,” said Marilyn Cedeno, who teaches English and literature to fifth through eighth grade students at St. Teresa of Avila School in Los Angeles.Beate Nguyen, new principal at St. Augustine School in Culver City, said she was attending with several teachers for professional development and to learn more about the flipped classroom. “I’m going to try to have flipped classrooms at the school. I think we can use some of the concepts,” using iPads that have been supplied to the teachers, said Nguyen. Father Norm Supancheck, chaplain at Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, which is implementing 1:1 computing for all students this year, said he was present to learn all he could about the use of new technology. “As we become an iPad school this year, it really helps to understand how to use the different apps and different things that are available that we can use for the classroom,” said Father Supancheck.C3 Pilot“The goal is to help people better understand how they can use technology and hopefully spark some interest and new ideas,” said Karla Briceno, C3 training coordinator. The archdiocese organized its C3 Technology Pilot Project in 2010 in partnership with Clearwire Corporation, which leases a portion of the archdiocesan broadband spectrum for local CLEAR/Sprint 4G service. The role of the C3 Pilot has evolved to include advising and responding to rapid technology adoption initiatives and to finding strategies that can be sustained for the long term in selected parish, school and administrative pilot sites and other locations. Seven core subprojects of the C3 Pilot include: infrastructure; hardware; tech services; digital content and curriculum; learning platforms: Student Information System (SIS) and Learning Management System (LMS); training and professional development; and scalability and sustainability. “Everyone who has attended the C3 Tech Conference this year is so enthusiastic about getting this opportunity to get the training in professional development,” said Luzanne Otte, director of the C3 Pilot. “I think it is a sign of the archdiocese moving forward.”Next week, The Tidings will feature an article on C3 Tech Conference speakers addressing the use of technology in evangelization.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0816/c3/{/gallery}