Well, school has started. It has been an exhausting couple of weeks, as tennis season is in full swing (pun intended).
I decided this year to implement a significant change in my physics classes this year. I have flipped the class, which means that instead of lecturing during the school day and assigning homework for students to do at night, we are doing practice problems and assignments in class and the students are required to watch videos of my lectures at home. The videos are all screencasts that I have made available on Youtube, and also through our class website.
The students seemed very positive about the idea as I explained it to them on the first day, and have hit the ground running with watching them. So far I have checked every day if they watched and took notes on the video, and have had only a few people not watch them on time for the following reasons:
Slow internet at home -- Solution: he brought in USB Thumb drive and we transferred the videos onto it
Didn't have time -- Solution: he watched it the next night, and was just a little bit behind in class
Didn't know I had to watch them -- Actually, this was my fault that I didn't make myself clear in deadlines. Temporary solution was to watch it in class that day. I didn't mind doing this because it was the very first time, but I told them this wouldn't happen again. More permanent solution: posting a video watching calendar or schedule, which I have yet to implement.
The in-class activities are more challenging than I had imagined because the students are answering things faster than I had anticipated. I'm learning that I will probably have to overplan. Another difficulty is that students are working at different rates so some are finishing early while others taking longer. I don't have a solution in mind about this yet.