St Joseph's Nudgee College
He hosts four YouTube channels, has been named an Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion and has attracted international attention over his style of teaching.
St Joseph’s Nudgee College Technology Coach Joel Speranza is “leading the charge” in Queensland in Flipped Learning, which is changing the face of teaching in the classroom. He was recently named as one of 12 Global Flipped Learning Master Teachers.
Joel's boundless energy, his passion for sharing innovative teaching techniques and leadership in the use of digital technology are just some of the reasons he has been nominated for a Queensland College of Teachers Excellence in Teaching Award.
For Joel, great teaching means talking less and allowing students to learn at their own pace.
He says differentiation takes care of itself in Flipped Learning, in which students watch video lessons online for homework, and then spend time in class working on what they are having trouble with or extending themselves.
“Once I started making videos I saw for the first time students differentiating for themselves while they were watching the video: they could pause it, they could rewind it; some students watched my videos much faster – they would watch something at 1.25 speed or 1.5 speed,” Joel says.
“So, all of a sudden these 28 students are all watching instruction, they are learning something new at their very own pace, which is something which is not possible if you are standing up at the front of the board. That is one of the many, many benefits of Flipped Learning.”
He says it took him a little longer than others to come to teaching, because sadly, he didn’t see it as a career option when he was younger, despite enjoying helping fellow students to learn when he was in high school.
“I get really excited when someone tells me they don’t know something,” Joel says, adding he can’t wait to help them find out.
Today, the mathematics, ICT and accounting teacher enjoys helping students to realise they are in charge of their own learning and is introducing his colleagues to different digital technologies they can use in the classroom.
He has filmed more than 700 video lessons, is in demand to run interactive Flipped Learning seminars and workshops, speaks at national conferences and blogs and tweets in the process.
QCT Director John Ryan thanks Joel for his dynamic teaching and his pursuit of best teaching practices, and for sharing them widely with others in the profession.
Winners of the QCT Excellence in Teaching Awards will be announced on 27 October, on the night before World Teachers’ Day is celebrated in Australia.
Congratulations Joel on being a finalist.