This issue is a collection of articles and resources associated with “Flipped Instruction”. I have been captivated by this blended learning concept since I first ran across it in a blog post by Daniel Pink in 2010 and was taken by the possibilities of this strategy for engagement and a true learning focus.

Lately,”Flipping” has become synonymous with the use of Khan Academy videos or other tutorial-like resources. I am concerned that this may not be the best way to employ this strategy. It seems to me that the use of third party videos and tutorials should take a backseat to locally, teacher generated content, specifically tailored to meet the contextual and needs of authentic instruction. That being said, it should be noted that third party sites are helpful for teachers who lack the skills or resources to create their own content.  A search of the available information on flipped instruction, learning, teaching, classrooms etc. will garner lots of ideas for generating meaningful content in various formats for flipped instruction.

This isnt to say that I don’t favour video as a learning strategy. Quite the opposite is true. I see video as a very powerful tool for bring context to a concept, but there must be a link to what is being taught and its relevance to the student. This is much more easily achieved by the teacher than by some third party site. However, the authenticity of locally generated content cannot be discounted.

Flipped Instruction is an interesting strategy but is by no means a silver bullet for learning. I can see that for some it would be a valuable tool to carry in their arsenal for maximizing student interaction with content and context. Others may find it impossible to work with. Roam around the links in this issue and determine whether ”flipping” would add value to your students’ learning.  As always,


The latest edition of the Instructive Interference Newsletter can be downloaded here.


OK, I know that I haven’t posted in… forever. I do apologize. However, I have not been idle inasmuch as I have been steadily collecting reports, articles and resources that may be of interest to educators. I have been encouraged by my fellow colleagues to circulate them on a regular basis.

Yesterday, I released the first of what I hope will be many newsletters highlighting the items that I have been collecting and sharing with my colleagues. I am offering these free of charge, hopefully to feed professional conversations and perhaps to provide some inspiration for some to step out of their comfort zone and innovate.

This issue is a collection of blog posts, news items, videos, and web-based apps covering a wide range of topics. Literally something for everyone. Most newsletters will be following this format. However from time to time “themed” issues will be released. The first themed newsletter will be on “Flipped Instruction” and will hopefully serve as a review and a resource for educators interested in learning more about the “Flip”.

The newsletter is available here.

If you would like to be included on a mailing list to receive future issues, send your email address to with a brief note indicating your wish to be included.

I will post here as well as on my twitter feed (@InstructiveInt) as new issues become available.

33 Years Ago…When I was 17 years old, I had a summer job making diswasher doors in a factory in my hometown. There were probably 600 or so employees on three shifts running 24 hours per day. It was a great job. It wasn’t terribly hard nor physically demanding and the pay was excellent. I would have enough money saved by the end of the summer to satisfy the registrar at my university, and then some. I arrived every morning at 7:00am to start my shift. One morning I arrived for my shift to find people milling around but there was no activity on the factory side of the fence. The plant had closed and moved its operations to Mexico – just like that. However, there were lots of factories around and I soon had another job and life went on. Many of the 600, though, were not as fortunate. They had the challenge of suporting their families full time and long term. This was my first experience with globalization.

Today I’m finally starting to understand the true meaning of what happened all those years ago. It turns out that the late 70s were the beginning of a trend that would accelerate through the 80s and 90s and into the new millenium. Factories all over North America closed their doors and relocated to places like Mexico, Asia and elsewhere - anywhere  manufacturing could be done by people, just as capable, but at a lower cost. The result has been a net loss of millions of manufacturing sector jobs in Canada and the United States. After all this time, we might as well admit to ourselves that manufacturing isn’t coming back. That bus has left the terminal, and taken lots of high paying jobs with it.

However, all was not lost. North America still had a burgeoning service-based industry, unparalleled in the world. Unparalleled because of our economic might and technological advantage over the rest of the world. With the steady decline in the GDP attributable to manufacturing came a tsunami of service sector jobs that easily made up for it. As jobs were lost, others were created until in the late 90s, over 80% of the GDP was dependent on service sector employment. It would appear that although many jobs were lost, more were created. Our economic dominance was still assured and our standard of living cemented in stone.

The figure below shows the decline in manufacturing jobs in the US and the subsequent surge in Service sector employment. (from the US Department of Labor Statistics).

The following figure  shows the proportion of the US economy dedicated to service sector employment (taken from Apte, Karmarkar and Nath, 2008). The same authors maintain that the economyin the US hasn’t been manufacturing based since 1997.

Trending in Canada has been similar to that in the United States.

Service Based Economy Dominance – Not!
Moores Law and Gilder’s Photon Law have allowed computing capacity and connectivity to grow exponentially while the price point for both has enabled the rest of the world to share in the digital age as equal participants. This resulted in more offshoring and direct competition for contracts and services literally from anywhere in the world. India has an established prowess at delivering services worldwide, in the language of their clients. Legal and medical services, warranty, technical support, design and engineering services, and publishing are but a few of the areas now available from offshore. Given that the North American stranglehold on technology and information has been broken, the global economic playing field is not only changed – it is quite possibly the flattest it has ever been. Any superiority we may have enjoyed is gone. To maintain our standard of living, our workforce has to be at least as good as the rest of the world, period.

Whose job is it to make sure that our workforce is up to the task?
It is education’s mandate to prepare our children for prosperous, healthy and productive lives. In the industrial age we prepared them with an education model that mirrored the values and demands of an industry/manufacturing based economy. That economy is all but extinct. The new reality is one of a digital and information economy. This calls for a different skill set than the one we learned as students. Creativity, Critical thinking, Self management, Cultural awareness, Literacy (information, digital, financial), Collaboration, Versatility and Tolerance are among today’s essential competencies. Personlaized, relevant and rigourous experiences for students are the hallmarks of 21st century education.

Educational researchers have identified the competencies above as being the holy grail of learning throughout my teaching career. Who doesn’t want these things for their students? Skills like these have been the gold standard since John Dewey. Every new craze to hit the education street has spoken to their virtue, yet education has not waivered significantly from its industrial pradigm and truly embraced them.

The 21st century learning “movement” is not really new; it calls for all the same old things. However, the difference this time is that the horizon forecasted is finally upon us. Changes to what and how we teach are now an economic imperative. Twenty-first century skills will drive the social and economic engines in countries across the globe. Educational jurisdictions are rushing to address this imperative on a global scale. Each is aware that the first one through the door will also be the first at the table.

No matter how you slice it, the move to a 21st century learning model will require a shift in teacher practice, in the way we think about education in general. As Ian Jukes so nicely put it, “We need a change in headware as well as hardware.” I suspect that the hardware will be the easy part. The headware change will be more daunting for most.

Economies aren’t the only things that have changed.
Students are no longer content to sit in rows and to absorb content from a teacher’s frame of reference. They aren’t as likely to trust the teacher as a sole source of information. They want to network, to collaborate with others in the classroom and around the world. Today’s youth are wired differently, they aren’t the kids who are motivated by the good mark for spitting back their lessons verbatim on a pen and paper test. They are independent thinkers who need to be challenged by relevant problems and coached by teachers who are willing to function in the role of co-learner. Today’s student also needs to be able to demonstrate what they have learned and how it’s connected to the world in ways that are meaningful to them. Today’s students are wired. They are natives to the digital age. The PEW Internet & American Life Project, Horizon Reports and the Kaiser Family Foundation research all point to the extent which today’s children are immersed in media and technology.

Scads of data exists pointing to the effect of all this on student engagement. Schools everywhere are recording rampant absenteeism, discipline referrals, assignments not being done and ignored homework. A school in my jurisdiction reported more than 50% of grade 9 and 10 students were absent more than 50% of the time during the months of February and March. This speaks strongly to how relevant education in its present form is to our youth. Whatever the reason for their truancy, one thing is clear. If students aren’t in school, then we can’t educate them.

In the infographic above, the Canadian Education Association (CEA) maintains that in Canadian Schools, student engagement drops from more than 80% in elementary to less than 45% in grade 12. The reason isn’t hard to fathom. If students perceived that their educational experience was relevant, they would remain engaged. Clearly, those who disengage (55% by grade 12) feel that other things are more relevant than school. 

Video Blogger Dan Brown makes the point in ”An Open Letter to Educators” that the lack of technology, creativity and learning that spoke to his reality was actually interfering with his university education – so he quit. 

“If we and our students know that education is no longer relevant, and we understand the economic and social rammifications of this, why are we so slow to systemically acknowledge and respond?”

Instructive Interference
It is no longer relevant to talk about a time down the road when the workplace will change, when technology will demand new skillsets, when 21st century skills will be needed. That time has come. In fact, it has been with us for a few years now. What we need is a conversation about how 21st century skills will be incorporated into the curriculum, how they will be taught and perhaps most importantly, how they will be assessed. Currently there are many educators – early adopters - who aren’t waiting for policy to dictate a 21st century agenda. They are already creating engaging, collaborative and technology rich experiences for thier students.

We need to collectively examine the impacts they are having on their students and leverage their strategies throughout the wider system. Early asdopters are the most powerful resource that any jurisdiction has – and every jurisdiction has them. They will be the divers of change for teachers who are reluctant, fearful or simply unsure how to embrace the pedagogical shift needed to address the realities of today’s youth. Networking between teachers to propagate ideas that work in the 21st century context is, to my mind, the only sustainable way to manage the “headware” change needed to ensure education stays relevant.  I call this Instructive Interference.



 Here are the remainder of the Twitter links from the old blog site. This list contains many resources that teachers may find useful in class or professionally informative. Their being listed here means that they may be of interest. How or if you use them is entirely up to you. Should you have an cool resource that is not listed here, please send it along. Likewise if you find a link here that is broken polease notify me at

  1. eFolio Personal Learning Plan for Life
  2. Start the term with new Office templates for teachers
  3. Over 80% of Two Year Olds Have an Online Presence
  4. E living and e learning. Motorola paper.
  5. 21 Definitions for a 21st-Century Education |
  6. 6 Reasons Why Students Need 21st-Century Skills
  7. 21st Century Teaching and Learning: Assessing New Knowledge — THE Journal
  8. Phun 2D physics
  9. IncrediBots – Online Robot Physics Game!
  10. Domo Animate story telling site with sharing capabilities 
  11. The Water Cycle interactive Smart Board activity from Australia
  12. Six technologies soon to affect education
  13. Digital citizenship continuum
  14. Lenovo statement on 21st Century skills- interesting to read. 1:1 isn’t just about Internet access
  15. Would I want MY child in this classroom?
  16. Free Yet Powerful 21 Century Quiz Application For Any Classroom « 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning
  17. SchoolTool and other Parent Portals in K-12 Education
  18. Learn it in 5: How-to videos for teachers
  19. Polis paper on Digital Natives – a Myth? Interesting read from several perspectives
  20. Open myths, closed responses about ‘digital natives’
  21. Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010 Web 2.0 tools
  22. Great ideas for using Google Earth across the curriculum
  23. Web 2.0 Project suggestions 121 pages of ideas
  24. Assessing projects Intel resource
  25. Formative and summative assessment resources & research -middle school
  26. Internet enable your houseplants
  27. Royalty Free Music
  28. Comparing 20th and 21st Century Educational Paradigms | Educational Origami -makes you reflect a bit
  29. The views of teacher education professors – Cracks in the Ivory Tower Thomas B. Fordham Institute –
  30. A Teaching Life: The Networked Student
  31. Worried about students disengaging? From free tech4teachers
  32. Read this! 1:1, later day start, DATA One Month Data into a 1 to 1 School Year
  33. Data show project-based learning may help boost achievement:
  34. Spurred by Statistics, Districts Combat Absenteeism. Great stats on engagement, attendance and dropping out
  35. New Slide: Note to Principals – The Tempered Radical
  36. Have you used Google Lit Trips?  <-I have! It rocks!
  37. Education Technology: The Importance of Proper Implementation | Worldwide Center of Mathematics Blog
  38. Evidence that PBL Works | Edutopia
  39. What is WebP and Why Should You Care? –
  40. Connecting 2 the World: New technology demands for the 21st century classroom
  41. Gray Hair & 21st Century Education
  42. The other side of the 21st century coin. P21 and AACTE publish doc about pre-service teacher training.
  43. 2010 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition | NMC emerging tech in K-12
  44. Thinking Skills – Edgalaxy: Where Education and Technology Meet.
  45. Infographic on how teachers think technology works best in the classroom
  46. The Khan Academy is all about using video to explain the world
  47. Always a challenge: Designing homework that contributes to learning
  48. New bookmark: Ideas for using a FLIP camera in the classroom
  49. A red flag early warning system enables a teacher to catch students before they free-fall into failure.
  50. When kids teach kids, the classroom comes alive. See how in this Sept. EL article:
  51. Online homework buddies after hours collaboration.
  52. Resources For Prevention of Cyberbullying:
  53. Issuu – Digital publishing and sharing
  54. Create and share video
  55. Project ROME for Education
  56. Sweet Search
  57. Social Networking To Save At-Risk Students — THE Journal
  58. A collaborative music/spoken word project. Hard to believe
  59. YouCube by Aaron Meyers. Interesting. Not sure how useful but cool.
  60. Cool stuff – – Free Screen Sharing
  61. Juxio — Create New Meaning
  62. ZAP Reader read faster
  63. Smart Board Punctuation Practice
  64. Web Comic Strip Creator –
  65. Cool online collaborative whiteboard.
  66. For science teachers
  67. JayCut -Worth a look you work with video. Some features moviemaker doesn’t have.
  68. Out of This World Ideas for Showcasing Student Work – excellent lit review and ideas
  69. Voki is a free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars
  70. 10 Awesome Free Tools To Make Infographics  
  71. Tangrams 
  72. Will physical books be gone in five years? – 
  73. Give them a laptop and a group of pupils will teach themselves | Education | The Guardian Sugata Mitra. Great stuff
  74. Virtual Pumpkin Carving
  75. Wordle like tag clouds with attitude!
  76. Futurelab free handbooks: digital literacy and innovation
  77. Screencasting with Screencast-o-matic. Free hosting, no install
  78. Check this video out — RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms… 
  79. 5 Traits of the 21st Century Teacher {21st Century Learning, Effective Teaching} | Developing Education 
  80. Opportunity to beta online video editing tools with your class Stupeflix for Educators 
  81. Excellent video on need for change in education Literacies for a New Age « 21st Century Literacies 
  82. Great list of resources for teachers, admin and parents
  83. Powerfull List of 28 Online Image and Photo Editing Tools 
  84. Web 2.0 List Of Web 2.0 Application Links 
  85. A Web 2.0 Class: Students Learn 21st Century Skills, Collaboration, and Digital Citizenship | Edutopia 
  86. Comparing Countries from “Doug Off The Record” 
  87. Popplet for sharing visual ideas 
  88. Worth a read. TEL 313: Self-Directed Learning 
  89. Awesome Free Tools To Make Infographics 
  90. What Should Students Know and Be Able To Do? From the Fischbowl. 
  91. NZ Interface Magazine | Eight habits of highly effective 21st century teachers 
  92. Surf or Drown: Let’s Hunt TTWWADI’s! – Stories from School AZ 
  93. 21st century english skills map 
  94. More about “21st century learning” – Report Card Vancouver Sun 
  95. 5 Twitter Uses for School Leaders « Leaders OnLine (LOL) 
  96. Web 3.0 – What is web 3.0? and How Web 3.0 will work? | TECNERD 
  97. Add Letters! Custom Image Generators
  98. New bookmark: The Newspaper Clipping Image Generator – Create your own fun newspaper
  99. Finding the Positive in Cellphones for Children –
  100. 30 Posts About Free Education Technology Tools & Resources | Emerging Internet Technologies for Education  
  101. 10 Uses of Wordle for Learning
  102. Best Practices – How to Help Teachers Use Technology in the Classroom
  103. Later School Start Times and Zzzs to A’s
  104. How to Train Teachers to use Tech in the Classroom 5 Universal Tips  
  105. Effective Assessment in a Digital Age
  106. From The Industrial Age To The Information Age Kicking And Screaming
  107. Can we teach creativity?
  108. Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America
  109. Absolutely hilarious Ze Frank’s nerdcore comedy | Video on

In the move from the old blog site, I neglected to transfer the link archives from the InstructiveInt Twitter feed. Here are the first  of those links. This list contains many resources that teachers may find useful in class or professionally informative. Their being listed here means that they may be of interest. How or if you use them is entirely up to you. I will attempt to move the remainder over as I have time. Should you have an cool resource that is not listed here, please send it along. Likewise if you find a link here that is broken polease notify me at

  1. 5 Considerations for Allowing Students to Use Personal Computing Devices on School Wireless …
  2. High school students conduct research, teach teachers how to increase engagement in class
  3. Create Animations, Make Friends |
  4. Making Videos on the Web without any equipment.
  5. Lesson from PhotoQuest
  6. Middle school LA teachers – 5 frame storytelling.
  7. Learning isn’t Optional for Teachers #cpchat
  8. Evaluating tech” “It’s not the tool, but how you use it that matters.”
  9. Steps to Creating Infographics:
  10. ImgOps – apply effects and filters with a single click -Image Operations
  11. Powerful online sequencer with real time effects, virtual instruments and a fully integrated Sound Shop. Soundation
  12. Aviary -free suite of online creation tools. Etch-a-sketch anyone?
  13. Search creative commons photos, resize and post to blog. Inserts photo credit too. – free pictures
  14. Twitter Increases Student Engagement [STUDY]
  15. 5 Twitter Uses for School Leaders
  16. Teaching Students about Digital Conversations
  17. Quotes from Tim Brown’s, “Change By Design”
  18. Awesome Periodic Table VIDEOS of elements. The Periodic Table of Videos – University of Nottingham
  19. Video lessons on several subjects -O2 learn – Home
  20. Scribble Maps – Draw on google maps with scribblings and more!
  21. Check this video out — Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh)…
  22. 10 Tag cloud generators. More than wordle
  23. Timeline generator –
  24. Connecting Curriculum with Community
  25. Nine Reasons to Twitter in Schools
  26. About | Tumblr easy blogging from anywhere
  27. Ideas for Managing the Cell Phone Classroom
  28. ClearLab Project: Serious Games for Middle-School Science | SERIOUS GAMES MARKET
  29. Another cool infographic How Teens Use Cellphones
  30. Neat! Timelines | Create timelines, share them on the web.
  31. Technology Tidbits: Thoughts of a Cyber Hero: Top 25 Sites of 2010
  32. Videos of Middle School Science Experiments
  33. Top Jobs for Critical thinking info graphic learned about on Digital
  34. Seven Essentials for Project-Based Learning. What Every Good Project Needs!
  35. New Search Tool: Have you tried slashing the web?
  36. The Holy Grail of Education -Personalized Learning
  37. Free Sites for Creating Your Own Animations Great way to express yourself
  38. The seven roles of a teacher
  39. Slideshare Mobile. Cool images and quotes
  40. ClipGrab Makes it Simple to Download Videos Off Websites
  41. Should High Schools Sell Ad Space on Their Lockers?
  42. Technology in Education: Which Way Forward?
  43. Delaying School Start Times Causes Alarm
  44. 21st century skills and ICT literacy [hyperlinked PDF]
  45. 20 Dropouts Who Are Changing The World | Edudemic
  46. Officially Cool 3D augmented reality pop up books for story telling
  47. Like Twitter, but pictures? Instagram. Not sure how useful but interesting
  48. Poetry resource –Teachers First Resource Listings
  49. Grapholite – online diagramming and flow charting tool
  50. Join me – Free Screen Sharing
  51. StudyJams – Play with math and science from scholastic
  52. Cool stuff for student blogs Web tools for kids
  53. Acid Rain Simulation
  54. 5 Internet Technologies That School Administrators Need To Know About
  55. Capture your classes Learning about Lecture Capture Technology
  56. Rubrics (Authentic Assessment Toolbox)
  57. WolframTones: Math -An Experiment in a New Kind of Music
  58. Tell stories
  59. Top Ten Steps to Personalize Learning
  60. Do We Even Know We’re Irrelevant? – The Tempered Radical
  61. Skype in the classroom education directory Imagine the potential!
  62. A Free Curriculum For Teaching About Copyright:
  63. Incredible math resource site. Lots of material available.
  64. Cyber Stalking in English Class
  65. Let’s Go Global
  66. Information Literacy Resources | November Learning
  67. I like the first slide in this presentation!
  68. Educating for Democracy: If Doctors Were Treated Like Teachers
  69. Connections – Assessment
  70. Personalised learning:
  71. ”The Object of Education is Learning, Not Teaching” Must read.
  72. Poetry in Motion
  73. Great resources for learning English while learning current events!
  74. A Parents’ Guide to Facebook
  75. Freepik: Search For Free High Quality Vectors & Photos
  76. YouTube Science Channel – 299 videos
  77. Telescopic Text great for exploring sentence construction
  78. Think Before You Post (Image)
  79. Denied or Defined: 21st Century Students in Today’s Classrooms #cpchat
  80. Online Drawing Tools: art, online drawing tools
  81. Print your own Map Envelope
  82. 2011 the year of the QR Code
  83. The power of social media
  84. You think social media is risky business? Check this out.
  85. Passwords Are Like Underwear
  86. Why are new teachers leaving in droves? The Guardian
  87. Audioboo record audio online
  88. Crowdmap crowd sourcing open access tools.
  89. Observing a Classroom? Watch the Students, Not the Teacher
  90. Open source magazine for teens lets readers copy its content…
  91. HoodaMath’s Brainteaser Games – good for interactive whiteboard
  92. The Future Will Be Personalized
  93. Project Red: Do 1:1 right or don’t do it at all
  94. Top 10 Safety List: Keep Computers Out of Bedrooms
  95. 10 Reasons to Ban Pens and Pencils in the Classroom
  96. Cell Phones in Schools Get Thumbs Up By the Department of Ed
  97. Facts and Figures on Twitters Amazing 1300+% Growth:
  98. Get Organized!: Bundles
  99. Top 15 blogs for science in the classroom
  100. Simple Pop-Ups You Can Make!
  101. Skype Education Directory for Educators
  102. Teachers take charge
  103. Interesting study on concerns based training as opposed to skills based.
  104. 21st Century Administrator’s Global Toolkit | The Educators’ Royal Treatment
  105. Technology Brings Change to Education | The Harbinger Online
  106. Kinda cool. New take on the classification system. DeweyDigger
  107. (Linkbunch : put multiple links into one link)
  108. Major revision of teacher training programs urged by panel of top educators
  109. How To Make Better Teachers
  110. 3 Ways Educators Are Embracing Social Technology…
  111. Some schools rethink bans on cell phones – Technology & science – Tech and gadgets…
  112. Teaching To The Test?
  113. When it comes to ed tech, we’re cutting off our noses to spite our faces
  114. Why I Will Not Teach to the Test
  115. Playing with an online wild music scoundscape creator
  116. Great for social media newbies and experts! Harvard’s Must-Have Guide To Social Media…
  117. If we were really serious about educational technology | Dangerously Irrelevant
  118. Foursquare in the classroom. geotagging.
  119. Foursquare in education and the classroom
  120. Cheaters
  121. How Writing for the Web Differs From Writing for Print Publications
  122. The Ultimate Teacher’s Guide To Social Media…
  123. The Ultimate Twitter Guidebook For Teachers…
  124. 50 Surprising Facts About Social Media…
  125. Twitter Rubric
  126. Pay Attention |Great image
  127. Lots of quick video examples of how one HS is engaging the mobile generation with QR codes:
  128. Must See Video for Music & Video Production Teachers  Very cool.
  129. Study: 82 percent of kids under 2 have an online presence – #cnn
  130. The 3 rules of mindsets . . .…
  131. Differentiating Instruction is NOT Hard if We Tap into Student’s Passions!
  132. Skype visits – The Vasa Museum
  133. Add voice to your photos or presentations
  134. Voxopop – a whole new way to talk online
  135. ZooBurst Make your own pop up book
  136. Make how to videos – with Jing
  137. Interesting Flowchart To Help Pick The Right Tool For The Job:
  138. YouTube – Flame Fart Kid This is awesome
  139. So Cool! Instant websites with the buzz on any topic. Enter your topic and BAM!
  140. Crayola Digi-Color
  141. Kerpoof Studio online drawing tools
  142. Sumo Paint | Online Image Editor