Friday, July 6, 2012

Back in the Day

Back in the day before I went to middle school, there was a run down, literally rotten school known as Ocoee Middle School, it was probably the least taken care of school in Orange County, Fl. In 2002 the state started a project on the school, costed $4B at the time to recreate the middle school. It was torn down and rebuilt to be a State of the Art Tech school, a premier school in the entire state of Florida, a huge state. People come to Orlando and take tours in this school. It's ride and joy of the school board. When I was there they were big on 9/11 terrorist security and so they only way in or out of any of the buildings was by swiping a card in a reader, without the card students were written up on referrals, but that didn't accomplish anything more than creating a disciplinary problem. Now, as I come back to visit Ocoee and see some friends, I am staying with at a friends place whose parents just happen to teach at Ocoee Middle School. They've been teaching since the 90s, his Dad has been at OMS since the 90s and his Mom for 3 years.
Anyway, I arrived last night at his house and first thing I talked to his parents about was that I was going to be a PE teacher. We talked for several hours until the early morning (10:30pm-1am) about all the interesting things the school has done and how technoogy has been used in there classroom for years now. It dawned on me as we were having this conversation that I went to this school and took it for granted, now, looking back on it, I find it so cool how I was part of such a radical movement in its early stages. A decade has gone by and now the "iSchool Initiative" (YouTube Video of the iSchool Initiative) is not just a theory, I have witnessed it wish my own hands and eyes and unknowingly been apart of the process of it's creation. Blew my mind.
His parents just got back from a convention in San Diego where they talked about "The Flipped Classroom." Google Search: of the Flipped Classroom. and the book that goes with it. They even went over how to flip the PE classroom!

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