One of the biggest drawbacks of working with students who are Deaf is the fact that they often have been exposed to so much less than their hearing counterparts. While I read this and it made sense, I never really understood it until I had my own children. I am still in awe at the things that my children say, most of it simply because they heard it (mommy had to learn to control her trucker mouth really fast)! I have been a teacher ten years longer than I have been a mom, so I still work on the belief that explicit instruction/direction is how children learn, because that is how my students learn. That is not the case for most, just my small population of students. To give you an idea, most of my 12th grade students can not fill in a job application independently because they do not know their basic information. So, needless to say, the thought of a “Flipped Classroom” in the way that I understood it, made me nervous. I found this wonderful video on Youtube from a Deaf teacher who explained how she uses it in her classroom and the benefits she has seen. Here is the link, but warning, it is in ASL and not voice captioned. This search led me to do some more research (which actually led nicely to my final topic) where an itinerant teacher of the Deaf (these are the teachers you see in public schools) discusses how a flipped classroom presents a challenge that many forget, the Deaf student. Many times the videos are not captioned, they go to fast, require skills that a Deaf person cannot do (watch an interpreter and take decent notes) or miss gaps of information that are assumed. Check out the Minnesota Hands and Voices blog here. 3Play Media also discusses the importance of captioning in the flipped classroom.
So, needless to say, I was a little leery. However, like most things in education, I needed to look at it from a Deaf perspective. Most of the time, my lessons are styimed by the fact that half of the class is able to keep up while half is struggling. I created a video through VoiceThread that I will use in my classroom. I consists of 4 slides of the same article. Each slide has a different requirement for the student. Slide 1 asks them to remember to use pre-reading strategies we have discussed in class. Slide 2 asks students to read the article independently, Slide 3 is a teacher interpretation of the article while slide 4 focuses on questions related to the article. Each slide is signed and voiced.
I really like VoiceThread because students can send a video reply to me directly on the thread. I do not like that it is more costly to use these days 🙁 Since I am making some changes this year, I do not want to bite off more than I can chew. This may something that I attack at a later date, however, I could see this being used when I am absent. I see it being much more effective than a worksheet and bust work.