Weekly Reflection #7

Episode 7: Flipping the Classroom, but like not literally… that would make a mess

One of the aspects of EDCI 336 that I have appreciated has been the use of the “flipped” classroom model. This method is centered around providing instructional material to students before arriving to class. This is especially beneficial for students as it accounts for the various learning speeds of the group. Content can be taught through instructional videos outside of class time. This allows in person (or on zoom) time to be spent on group activities that deepen understanding and foster application of concepts.

After the “in-class” portion has been completed, students are given activities or reflections that help them extend there understanding.

One thing to be aware of when teaching a flipped style class, is that it relies on student motivation and engagement.  Teachers have to keep student engagement high otherwise the efficacy of instruction decreases. Helping students build a sense of self-responsibility is important as this method of instruction puts more of the onus of learning on the student.

Here was a great video I found which showed the practical application of this style of classroom

While this is just one way that this may look, there is great flexibility for instructors to structure their classes differently, perhaps using different types of technological mediums. This will be something I look forward exploring more in the future. Especially with the worldwide shift towards online instruction I am sure that new resources will be plentiful in the coming months. Not all of these will  be ideal but I am confident there will be some diamonds in the rough.



Free Inquiry #7

Inquiry #7: Reflection and Extension

Here are some reflection questions that I have answered in audio form.  I thought this would be a fun interview style format for my last post.

What did I learn about Free Inquiry through my exploration in disk golf?

In what ways did technology affect my learning?

Part 2

Extension: In what ways would I like to use technology to continue my learning?

One of the aspects that made this project so enjoyable was that I was able to do it with friends. I really do have to give a big shout-out to my friend Mike who was a champ and helped me practice endlessly and gave lots of good tips. I have an amazing video of Mike giving some actual good advise while David pokes fun at him:



Easily my favorite line is “Should I look with my eyes or with my heart,” and really I think we all have that same question David…

While some of the computer tools we learned to use this semester didn’t come into play for this inquiry (unless we start making discs on the 3D printer), I definitely used applied the more conceptual ideas we touched on. I feel like I hit all the points a good inquiry needs to have: Orientation, Conceptualization, Investigation, Conclusion, and Discussion

  1. Orientation: this was initially a little shaky as I did not flip-flopped around before solidifying my topic
  2. Conceptualization: My inquiry question was essentially: how do I best improve.
  3. Investigation: I used a variety of digital and in person resources to research and investigate technique and how best to refine my abilities.
  4. Conclusion: These blogs (most especially this one) have acted as my way of reflecting on what I have learned and attempted to apply each week. Whether these be successes, failures, or musing, they have all added to my greater understanding.
  5. Discussion: This is the next step going forward. After sharing this blog with my peers and getting a chance to relax and read theirs, I hope that we will all get a chance to discuss our experiences over the last 3 months.

Hopefully their projects were as fruitful and entertaining as mine.

Free Inquiry #6

Free Inquiry #6: A Change of Scenery

For the Thanksgiving weekend I decided that a safer bet would be to pass on a family gathering this year. Instead I elected to have a Friendsgiving. This involved bundling up my whole bubble and going to the family Cabin on Pender. This was a nice change of pace from long stints I had been spending sitting at my dining room table staring at a screen. Also it gave me a chance to visit the Pender Island Disk Golf Park. This park is actually where I first started playing many summers ago. It was only recently when I found out that Victoria had its own course that I started playing more earnestly.

I thought it would be a nice time show off each of the courses and do a little comparison of them.

The local course in Victoria is located just off Millstream road. It has 18 holes which consist of either hanging metal rods or sheet metal wrapped stakes. Due to the limited size of the lot, the holes are oriented so that they overlap one another. This means that you have to keep your wits about you while you play.

As you can see there are clear fairways in many of the courses, although you can always be daring and attempt to cut through the trees. Some of the holes are elevated which forces you to shoot uphill, downhill or across gullies.

The Pender island course is located on South Pender. There are 27 holes (3 sets of 9) with a combination of pole style holes as well as cage nets.

As you can see there is  a large variety in the kinds of holes seen. Some are quite rocky while others are level and flat. There was one hole that included a 20 meter vertical gain from start to finish. There are also holes that use the trees in interesting ways (see the arbutus caged hole in the gallery above)

The very best thing about the Pender course is that I got to do it with friends.

Free Inquiry #5

Free  Inquiry #5: Nailed the Hammer

So the third big skill I wanted to look at is the overhand throws, the Hammer/Tomahawk and the Thumber. These are useful throws as they can be down more easily when there is less room for a walk-up to your throw. Additionally when there are a lot of trees it gives the disk a more narrow profile initially, which can be good for sneaking in between trees.

This video by Karl Molitoris shows one of the more interesting aspects of this throw. As the disk is launched it has a tendency to rotate so that it is flying level through the air. This means that you can get that initial punchy throw that flips and then glides quite well. If the disk is unimpeded a tomahawk throw will ultimately curve to the thrown arm side (for me the left) while the thumber will go to the opposite side (for me the right).

Since my forearm throw is relatively weak, this offers me an alternative that I have been fairly successful with. Using these throws give me a far more reliable and competitive game, but may hamper the developments of my other skills. While I can use these throws for a variety of purposes it may be a better idea to practice the other skills which have a greater potential in other situations. for example if I needed to throw a fair distance on an upward angle this throw is not ideal as it has a tendency to follow a more artillery trajectory.

Commentary provided by David Heintz.

You can see here that my initial throw was trying to sneak through some trees but they were a little too tight. So I took a second throw aimed towards a safer area to play out of. Usually you wouldn’t get a second throw but we give ourselves a mulligan throw from the tee once per  9-holes. This was mine.

Free Inquiry #4

Free Inquiry #4: Forehand? I only have Twohand.

Because I am left handed, I must approach many of the hole slightly differently. Where others would use a powerful backhand throw to curve around a patch of trees, this would be inappropriate for me. So I had to develop my forehand throw rather early on.

Here is a quick tutorial for how to do this throw:

Fortunately this throw uses many of the principles that I am familiar with from martial arts. Its almost as if body mechanics is universal…weird. For this throw it is important that you not restrict your motion with closed hips. We create motion and momentum with the X-step and then open the hips and allow the torque we have generated to be translated from our legs and hips to our throwing arm.

For me this throw is at best inconsistent. Aside from my shoddy aim, the real difficulty is keeping the throw flat. As of yet this is a skill I lack. On the occasions that I have successfully implemented the throw, the results have been quite satisfactory. That being said even the most beautiful of shots has a 50% percent chance of going straight into a tree.

Here is an example of that:

Mike deserves this for being so cocky with this throw.

Free Inquiry #3

Free Inquiry #3: Backhand, the Best hand?

So for my first post about skills I thought it a no brainer to look at the throw most people start with, the backhand.

But before I get into that I have someone to introduce:

This is Mike. He is my friend from the Primary Education Program and my personal disk golf guru. We consistently play up at the Millstream Disk Golf Course. He will be making lots of appearances throughout my posts as I tend to take more pictures of him than myself.

The Backhand:


The big thing to remember with a back hand throw is that it will curve towards to one side at the end of the throw (above). For right-handed people a backhand throw will curve to the left. For me (a southpaw thrower) these will always curve to the right, unless a very fancy disk is used.  I found out quite early on that when making a backhand throw you must:

  • throw the disk levelly (this allows the disk to glide)
  • you must adjust for the curve of the disk
  • you if you aim too high the aggressiveness of the curve is increased

My biggest issue with this particular throw is the power-to-accuracy ratio. I am able to get the disk to fly a fair distance, but at the expense of any sort of precision. This is unfortunate because the power doesn’t mean much if it goes 90 degrees off of where the intended direction was. Mike told me that the secret to a good backhand throw is getting a little snap of the wrist which gives the disk more spin than if you just throw with your arm. This is something I will need to practice in the coming weeks.


Free Inquiry #2

Free Inquiry #2: Ya, maybe a change is in order

I really put off starting this project for a few reasons. First of all, the course load for this program was substantially larger than I initially thought it would be. This meant I didn’t have all the extra time I expected to have. Secondly, I was working at my martial arts studio which also chewed into my free time. Lastly and most importantly I kept finding “reasons” not to work on it. Ultimately it came down to this: I didn’t want to do it. If I have learned anything about free inquiry this semester it is that for it to be effective, you have to really be interested in your topic. At the end of the day I was not feeling enthusiastic about the project so I made an executive decision.


So I took a gander at the list of previous topics for inspiration. This was initially just to give me an idea of which topics other people were choosing, but one in particular caught my eye. Disk Golf…

Strangely enough this topic did not even occur to me even though it was something that I started doing consistently this spring. This was an ideal choice of topics for me because I have continued to play and more importantly take pictures and recordings of my progress. I feel silly for not thinking of it sooner to be honest!

For each post I will be looking at different skills that I have worked on over the last few months and discussing my successes and failures along the way.


One day… one day

Free Inquiry #1

Free Inquiry #1: Lofty Goals

So my Inquiry has been quite backlogged due to having switched midway through the semester. My original plan was a carpentry project. I wanted to make a storage pedestal for my fridge. This would have a twofold benefit:

  • it would give me a good place to store my onion and potatoes, this would be ideal because it would be a dark cool place
  • It would raise up the fridge so that the crisper is less difficult to get into

I saw a similar object for sale at Home Depot but the style did not match my appliances and home decor.

This is the Home Depot Raiser I found

Since I couldn’t find one that I liked I figured that I might as well make one myself with all the extra time I would have from being in online classes (how naïve I was).

This is one of the designs that I found,

This design from Designs from Studio C was almost exact what I needed with the exception of the depth which needed to be extended by 4 inches, The design came with a full materials list


  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/4” brad nails
  • Edge banding, optional
  • 2 sets of 24″ Drawer slides (<– affiliate link!)
  • Cabinet pulls
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper (100, 150, 220 grits)
  • Finishing supplies (primer & paint, or stain, sealer)


  • 4 – 1×3 at 8′
  • 1 – 3×3 posts at 6′ OR
  • 2 – 3×3 posts at 3′
  • 2 – 4′ x 8′ sheets of 3/4″ plywood


  • 8 – 3×3 posts at 14-1/4″ – Legs
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 11-1/4″ x 23″ – Side Panels
  • 8 – 1×3 at 23″ – Side Framing
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 11-1/4″ x 22″ – Back Panels
  • 8 – 1×3 at 22″ – Back Framing & Front Stretchers
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 27″ x 28″ – Top
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 19-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ – Drawer Box Bottom
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 10″ x 22-1/2″ – Drawer Box Sides
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 10″ x 21″ – Drawer Box Front & Back
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 11″ x 21-3/4″ – Drawer Fronts

With all of this being detailed I figured that this would be easy as pie…. it was not. But that is a story for next time.

Exploration of Kahoot! as a Teaching Tool

What is Kahoot!?

Kahoot! Is an educational based app that provides students with the option of game based learning.  While educators can use this to test students’ knowledge, they can also support students’ desire to expand upon particular subject works by allowing them to create their own Kahoot! which can then be enjoyed by the class.  These games can be utilized in a variety of different manners dependent upon how the teacher or educator wishes to utilize them with their students. Looking at an article in reference of what Kahoot! is exactly, an article titled Students’ perception of Kahoot!’s Influence on teaching and learning by Sherlock Licorish, Helen Owen, Ben Daniel, and Jade George, “it is considered to be a game based student response system (GSRS) (Licorish et al., 2017).   To break down what exactly a GSRS is, Licorish and company describe it as, “GSRSs are an example of a gamification approach that makes use of game principles and student response systems tools to support learning, engagement, motivation and fun during the learning process (Licorish et al., 2017).


To make gamification methods (turning learning into games) productive, students and teachers must be familiar with the new technology. It has been shown that the gamification of information added at the beginning or end of the lesson helps solidify students’ memory. There are alternate elements that can be added other than just a scoring system if students dislike that bit of competition. When the teacher uses challenge mode instead of host mode the speed based aspect of Kahoot! is removed and all students will receive full points for the right answer. Only the teacher is able to see who answers what correctly and this provides a lower risk safer environment for students who might now feel as comfortable with competition. Gamification in the classroom has been shown to help create a team spirit with the classroom and increase motivation. Designing game questions will help students be more engaged in and remember the lesson. It has also been shown that students often find it enjoyable if the teacher joins in the game with them. This adds another layer of team spirit and creates a positive competitive environment. Students enjoy the chance to prove themselves against the teacher instead of solely against one another. (Bicen, 2018).

The use of Kahoot was, “to quiz students on various topics to understand their competence before tailoring lesson plans, for exploring students’ knowledge of topics after they were delivered in lectures, to help students to validate their comprehension and understanding of topics by having them design their own Kahoot!” (Licorish et al., 2018).

Kahoot! is also an anonymous game, ensuring the student has the option to use their own name, a made up alias, or remain anonymous while taking the quiz.  This helps create a safe-space for students who may lack confidence or may not understand the information to the same extent as they know they will not be judged while doing the quiz. 


What are the upsides to using Kahoot?

When thinking of Kahoot!, there are many different elements of upside to educators using this educational technology within the classroom.  The first being it provides student engagement in an online form.  Students who know they will be using Kahoot! in this educational setting prove to be more engaged due to the fact they know that they will need to recall the information later on for the Kahoot! that is being presented.  This also leads students to being more interactive within the classroom setting; asking questions and clarifying to ensure they understand the information that is being presented.  

 To follow this point, students can also not only take quizzes but enhance their learning by creating quizzes of their own to submit to their teacher, or have their peers play.  This opens a can of worms letting students engage more deeply with the subject matter that they are interested in, allowing them further their knowledge.  

            Another great element that allows for increased engagement is the ability to provide students with anonymity if they choose.  This creates a ‘safe-space’ for students when working on the quizzes as they don’t need to compare themselves to classmates, only their own knowledge.  What is unique about Kahoot! is that it provides students results to the teacher, who is then able to gauge exactly how the class as a whole is doing.  

             Finally, in terms of accessibility to students, no account is required in order to participate. This allows students to be able to quickly and efficiently sign in, participate and not have to worry about saving browsers, passwords, etc.  With so much going on for the average student, providing an educational based game that can be made available to everyone in that class ensures that students get the most out of their time spent on Kahoot! while still covering their knowledge that is being tested in forms of the quizzes provided.  

What are the downsides to using Kahoot!?

Most notably, the most prohibitive aspect of Kahoot! is its reliance on technology. While learners in more affluent communities see smartphones as a ubiquitous tool, this is not true for many regions. In some rural areas internet access cannot be assumed to be provided. In a diverse classroom a technological disparity can be seen and would have to be removed through the school providing the needed technology to students. 

Assuming that all students have access to a device, engagement becomes a prevalent issue. While use of Kahoot! can be useful for engagement, this may only be a temporary effect. Once the students initial interest in the medium is exhausted the students may become apathetic where previously they were excited. It was observed in a smaller classroom (~15 students) that at best, less than half of students were submitting answers. 

Beyond the potential pedagogical issues, there is the matter of privacy. As Kahoot! is hosted in the USA the data of its users is located outside of Canada. This issue can be circumvented by use of Kahoot! Academy which allows instructors to use the Quizzes created by verified teachers. Unfortunately the creation of the quizzes does require the creation of an account by the instructor. Fortunately, this does not require the students to volunteer their personal information as they can log in anonymously.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, with the rising trend of new technology being used within the classroom, we feel as though Kahoot! will be an extremely useful tool to use. Game based student response systems are going to be more frequently utilized to enhance student engagement but also to ensure the engagement of students in the lesson. Although there are few elements such as reliance upon technology and the need for accessibility to a device to access Kahoot, the pros outweigh the cons. Increased student engagement, the ability to further enhance their learning, the option of using anonymous mode that provides a safe space for students and not needing to have an account makes Kahoot! the ultimate GSMR in schools. Although there are downsides to using any platform, we see Kahoot! as the future for our students in online learning.

Teacher View:

Student View (no sound):


Bicen, H., & Kocakoyun, S. (2018). Perceptions of Students for Gamification Approach: Kahoot as a Case Study. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 13(02), 72. doi:10.3991/ijet.v13i02.7467

Licorish, SA, George, JL, Owen, HE, Daniel, B (2017). “Go Kahoot!” enriching classroom engagement, motivation and learning experience with games. In Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computers in Education, (ICCE 2017) (pp. 755–764). Christchurch, New Zealand: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.

Compiled By:

Thom Campbell, Tyler Mace, Zach Smith

Weekly Reflection #6

Episode 6: Fortifying Ideas with an EdCamp-ment

This week in class we participated in an EdCamp, a type of collaborative, informal groupwork I was not previously familiar with. Edutopia had a great summary of the main ideas and benefits of running EdCamps which I will link here.  If you don’t feel like reading all that, I will quickly summarize the qualities of an EdCamp and what I learned from this experience. By design these seminars are very unstructured and are only loosely guided. By collaborative discussion, common topics of interest are generated  and then organized into “rooms.” Each of these rooms will be facilitated by discussion of expertise or group knowledge or experience.

Ideas being generated


EdCamps have several qualities that are essential for open discussion:

  • They should be free.
  • Non-commercial and with a vendor-free presence (add free).
  • Hosted by any organization or individual .
  • Made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event.
  • Events where anyone who attends can be a presenter.
  • Reliant on the “law of two feet” which encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs.


Final EdCamp schedule

Since attendants collaboratively find topics of interest and share their expertise with one another, it is of paramount importance that participants actively engage with the other members to facilitate a dialog. Otherwise these conversations are at risk of “losing steam.” This was avoided in our experience in class by limiting the time of the discussion. This forced us to keep our contributions short and to the point so that all members could have their voices heard.