It’s a fascinating thing, this district-wide teacher Flipgrid Book study. My instructional coach counter-part, Cathy, and I are leading two different book studies with parallel methodologies, dates, etc…
The statistics to date:
- We are at the halfway mark this week, focusing on the third of six chapters.
- Between the two studies, there have been over 100 videos posted
- The 100 videos have been viewed over 1000 times.
In past book studies that I’ve chaperoned, I’ve learned that, by the end, there will be some members who fall by the wayside – some who are just too busy, and others who just aren’t digging the book enough to contribute regularly.
This virtual experience is interesting in that the ‘wayside’ seems to have come more quickly! On one hand, we have several educators who are totally invested – they are meeting the suggested deadlines and adding rich video reflections to the posts of their colleagues. When I’ve seen them in person, they make a point of telling me how much they are enjoying this virtual book study experience. On the other end of the spectrum, we have some educators who have contributed only one out of four initial response videos required to date, and maybe one or two of the eight responses to colleagues that should have taken place by now.
Cathy and I are struggling to determine what constitutes an appropriate number of “reminders”. As teachers signed up, we assured them that they could go at their own pace if necessary, and if they missed some weeks, they could just jump back in and continue. This flexible method has certainly been the pattern for a few teachers, but there still are those others who haven’t seemed to get off the ground. So, what are some of the possible reasons?
- it was report card season these past few weeks for elementary and junior high teachers, and those tend to be the ones who we’ve heard from less often – do we chalk this up to poor timing?
- should we be sending a reminder every time that we approach a deadline? Our initial plan was to present a detailed schedule at startup so teachers could keep track of their own dates – is that too much to ask a busy teacher? do they just need a quick email or text to bump them into action?
- is our timeline too tight? We’ve allowed two weeks to read each chapter. Before the next chapter deadline approaches, we’ve hoped that teachers have listened to and responded to the musings of their book study colleagues – are we asking too much in too short of a time frame?
- after mid-December, we have a full month off for Christmas – will some teachers use this time to catch up and post a few responses that they’ve missed? or will that extra time just push the whole book study idea further from mind?
- does this virtual landscape offer too little accountability? is it just too easy to “not do” if you don’t have to walk past someone in the hall the next day and explain why you haven’t ‘done your homework’?
Stay tuned for more musings as this experiment progresses! If you have theories, please comment!