By Tom VanBragt
Can you imagine telling your parent you’re doing English homework while watching YouTube at the same time? Students at Rockford Freshman Center can now say it and mean it, thanks to a new series of videos created to help them with some of the more common errors in English.
With the help of a grant from the Rockford Education Foundation, teacher Tom VanBragt has created a YouTube channel where students can go and get a lighthearted answer to their sometimes heavy English questions about writing, grammar, and even Shakespeare. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/user/englishnineoneone.
The relatively new videos, produced with the aide of sophomores Abby DeMaet and Matt Meyers and former Rockford student Scott Erickson, have been used in the classroom by Mr. VanBragt, and he has encouraged students to use them at home as a reference.
The idea behind the videos is what is known as the “flipped classroom,” in which students watch their teacher’s lectures on their own time at home and come into the classroom the next day prepared to do the homework and practice the skills learned through the videos.
VanBragt has not required the students to watch the videos outside of the classroom yet, but he hopes to utilize them more fully in the flipped sense next year.