Imagine if you walked into a doctor’s office today with a terrible ear infection and he proceeded to treat it with a good ‘ole fashion bloodletting. You would run, right? Politely excuse yourself first and then run for the hills or to a doctor with both feet firmly planted in the 21st century.
So, it is truly mindboggling that we are arming teachers with technology of a similar ilk to engage their students in the process of reading and learning. Neither the technology nor the user experience that drives reading instruction in our schools has advanced very far in the past 600 years.
Reading in schools today still works largely the same way it did when doctors treated all medical ills with bloodletting.
It is time to flip the book!
We did not let our nostalgia for bloodlettings get in the way of eradicating the plague; and, we shouldn’t let our nostalgia for the printed book get in the way of providing our students with dynamic, engaging, and effective learning experiences – even if it means flipping the printed books that have long anchored our love affair with reading.
Gobstopper, a new interactive ereading platform for teachers and students, flips reading instruction in the same way Khan Academy flipped how we teach math. Through our intuitive, teacher-centric, and dynamic technology, Gobstopper allows teachers to place questions, quizzes and rich media directly into the texts they teach at exactly the place they want kids to interact with and respond to the text. The questions literally pop out of the text as students turn the page. When students answer the question they get timely feedback on their answer letting them know immediately if they truly understand the text.
Using Gobstopper’s flipped reading platform, teachers can film short videos of themselves explaining a difficult passage or calling their students’ attention to a literary device and place the video inside the text at exactly the place they want each student to receive video-guided individualized instruction. Teachers can now be present for every child, whether they teach 20 or 120, while they do their reading at home, on the bus, or at the library.
Students no longer stare at static pages that fail to compete with a multitude of distractions that surround them. They no longer trudge through Hamlet page by page wondering if they really understand it and inevitably giving up to wait for the teacher to explain it the following day. Immediate feedback when they answer a question lets them know they got it. Videos of their teacher explaining Shakespeare’s turns of phrase deepen their interest in the play. Snippets of Mel Gibson performing Hamlet’s “To Be or Not To Be” soliloquy playing in the margins gives the printed version a richness and depth that reading has never held before.
Flip the Text & Unleash the Data
Those interactive elements certainly make reading more interesting, but left alone don’t effectively flip the reading experience and allow teachers to revolutionize their classrooms. Truly flipped reading instruction provides teachers with data that allows them to create more engaging and authentic learning experiences during class time. Flipped reading delivers Common Core aligned data reports to teachers everyday that help them plan effective instruction that nimbly responds to student progress day-to-day as opposed to every few weeks when a benchmark or end of term exam is given.
At Gobstopper, teachers can flip a book themselves by placing their own layer (we call it a curriculet) of questions, quizzes, and rich media on top of the books they teach, or they can use a Gobstopper curriculet to flip the books they teach more easily. It is an amazing and amazingly easy way to elevate reading instruction in your class and revolutionize the reading lives of your students.
Interested in flipping the texts you teach and flipping your Humanities class in the process? Visit www.gobstopper.com and check out our amazing new ereading platform.