FETC Voices in Technology: Flipped staff meetings
Instead of hosting traditional staff meetings in which teachers sit and get information, administrators can generate more engagement by using prerecorded videos that allow for more interaction. Also, apps that embed questions into presentations make it easier to collect feedback from staff members in real time, says Eujon Anderson, the technology director for Troy City Schools in Alabama.
This concept, called flipping, is new for administrative operations, but teachers have been using it for some time.
School and district administrators using technology to deliver information to staff before (or in lieu of) the traditional meeting can raise their technological profile while modeling innovation for their teachers, Anderson says.
“Flipping staff meetings gives time back to the teacher,” he says.
Anderson was a featured presenter at the 2019 Future of Education Technology Conference. The next conference will be January 14-17, 2020, in Miami, Fla.
What can administrators do with apps and video-sharing platforms that they can’t do in a traditional meeting?
There are apps that let you insert various questions into a slide deck, giving teachers or other staff an opportunity to respond online in real time or through an app downloaded on to their phones.
Also, instead of an administrator serving as the facilitator and the person who’s always talking, the administrator can use tools to bring up a point or topic and get the opinion of teachers and staff, which is more interactive and more engaging.
In addition, I think sometimes teachers are afraid to provide feedback to their administrators. Using these tools can help bridge the communications gap.
Should videos and online surveys replace in-person meetings?
Teachers understand the purpose of staff meetings, but they may need a break. Delivering information digitally prevents teachers from checking out on important information that’s usually provided during traditional meetings.
I’m not saying that administrators must flip the meeting all the time, but it’s up to the leader to know their people—to recognize when they’re worn out and when they’re unable to take in new information during the school day.
Flipped meetings are a win-win. Administrators deliver the meetings in a new, flexible way. Teachers reclaim some time, and can review information when it’s convenient for them, instead of at the end of a long day.
Do administrators want this kind of interactivity in their meetings?
Yes, they do, but it’s a challenge. Like anything, it takes time and much effort to create these types of engaging sessions. I tell administrators that for this to work, you do have to commit to thinking of ways to use digital tools and apps, such as Google Hangouts, YouTube and Screencastify, to create interactive memos and engaging online staff meetings.
What is your advice for administrators who want more engaging staff meetings?
Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t worry about appearing weird or inexperienced to teachers and staff members when you experiment with new tools.
Getting started and staying committed to new modes of delivering information are the biggest hurdles that administrators need to overcome.