Introduction / by Tyler Wood

Education is old. Plain and simple. How do you take something old and update it? Look at buildings, farming, communicating, and many other things that are also old. We have managed to reimagine, refurbish, and redesign these things. Why can't we do this with education? This is not a one change revolution, but an idea that we need to think of education like anything else - able to be redesigned regularly to meet the ever-changing world. Below is a link to a great resource for thinking about design in education that helps get the ball rolling. 

I have already been working on this very idea in my school. Korea is still a very traditional place in education. Even hitting children with rulers can be found in some areas in public schools, though it has become more and more rare as I have lived in Korea. Transforming a learning experience is not on the radar for most in the education field here, as I have come to realize. However, there are some innovators out there. 

My school is a private school that promotes its use of an American curriculum. Though we use textbooks with Common Core standards, we have not altered the way in which the content is being delivered for a very long time. I have proposed a flipped classroom to the English department head who has received approval from the CEO of the school. I successfully proposing a pilot program to the principal and, with his approval, I will be building a flipped classroom based on backward design principles. I have been working on this concept for months already. We will be rolling out the concept within the entire English department throughout the year. The principal pushed for even more than I was proposing. 

I believe that blended learning (a flipped classroom in my case) is the best of both worlds. I have been working on a Schoology-based online element to my current class to test the waters. I am also, in the process, building my LMS for next year's flipped pilot program. 

The content will be an ESL immersion course in multiple disciplines based on the curriculum set up by the administration. If it goes well, I will be able to fully implement the UbD method and eliminate the textbook contraints for the backbone of the content and really utilize the backward design method. The first class must adhere to the current curriculum, however. 

I am learning mostly from innovators from America or Europe and bringing those ideas to my school. However, I have heard of a few schools dabbling in technology solutions for their classrooms, mostly International Schools. There are also a handful of Cyber Universities that have popped up recently to fill the void of online learning here. As far as I know, though, we would be the first large scale (500+ students) non-international school that would be using a flipped classroom idea. There may be smaller acadamies that use it, but I have not heard of any major schools using it. There are a few that have used certain ideas, like BYOD, or tablet learning in class. 

Currently, the entire English staff is moving forward with several technological and ideological changes for the coming year, which is starting at the beginning of March. 

Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world with the fastest internet in the world. This is very beneficial for what I am proposing here. I, thankfully, do not have some of the problems with availability or connectivity that other teachers in other countries may have, or at least, not as big of a problem. 

Below is a report on IDEO and how they use the design process to recreate something old.