Picture a teacher at a blackboard explaining math concepts and equations to fifth graders.

Now "flip" the image in your mind and picture the youngsters learning these equations in a video at home so the teacher has more time in class to apply the math concepts to real-life situations.

"This is what's called a flipped classroom," said fifth-grade teacher Lisa Highfill, who teaches at Fairlands Elementary School in Pleasanton. Highfill's approach is innovative in that it shifts education from a teacher-centric model to a student-led, self-directed approach. Incorporating technology into teaching fosters creativity that nurtures children's innate curiosity, she said.

Highfill, who has worked for the Pleasanton school district for 19 years, will be a featured speaker at the upcoming TEDxLivermore Event on June 8 at Las Positas College. The theme of the conference is "Creating our Future: Innovate + Educate."

"TEDxLivermore will ignite the conversation between innovators and educators from a variety of disciplines," said Rosalind Hamar, the event's organizer and Valley Montessori's head of school. "We invite the community to join us for a transformative day of stimulating thinking." The event will feature a number of thought leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, artists, innovators and local educators.

Another speaker is Laurie Bodine, founder of START Leadership. Bodine will provide insight into new educational paradigms based on recent research into the value of empathy, altruism and awe for success in school and the workplace.

"These strategies and tools create an effective leadership culture in which students from preschool to college can attain their full potential by becoming responsible, resilient and resourceful in their lives and communities," said Bodine.

Speakers will discuss such questions as how will schools teach in the "cloud" era? How is innovation fostered within communities, and what drives innovation? How will the workplace evolve?

TEDxLivermore is open to the public and will be held June 8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Las Positas College. Tickets are $75 per person ($65 for educators) and include lunch. A limited number of individual and corporate sponsorships are available. Contact Roz Hamar at 925-455-8021. For tickets and more information, visit www.TEDxLivermore.coM.

Behind the camera: Middle and high school students considering a career in video production have an opportunity this summer to gain hands-on experience through Tri-Valley TV's summer camp.

Now in its fifth year, this day camp includes an introduction to studio production, field production, writing, producing and digital video editing.

"Students will produce a one-hour special that airs on TV30," said Melissa Tench-Stevens, executive director of Tri-Valley TV. "Campers will work directly with our staff at our television station."

Students can sign up for either June 17-21 or Aug. 5-9. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. The fee is $495, and registration is limited. The camp is located at the Tri-Valley Community Television Studios, 4663 Bernal Ave., Suite B, in Pleasanton, next to the Pleasanton school district. For details, visit www.trivalleytv.org and click on the Summer Camp icon, or call the 925-462-3030.

Contact Jim Ott at jimott@sbcglobal.net.