Have you heard teachers talk about flipping classrooms? Those that do talk about it make it seem like they’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth, a unicorn and a pot of gold all in the same place! Do you even know what they’re talking about? Even though you just listened to a 20-minute infomercial loaded up with fast-talking and crazy hand gestures…I had to walk away from a few zealots and begin my quest of enlightenment in a more subdued environment-Wikipedia! I then went on to read more substantiated resources and this is what I’ve learned:
Flipping simply means that students learn (through reading, listening or viewing) about topics away from the classroom and practice in the classroom. Hmmm…I think I get it now! I learned (lecture) in the class and practiced (homework) at home, this is the flip of that!
Why? When are students more likely to have questions: When you are delivering the content (Bueller…Beuller…)? or when they are practicing and applying their learned knowledge? In my experience, it’s when they are doing the work that they need my ‘expert’ assistance. If you only have 50 minutes with your students it might make more sense spending that time clarifying and helping them to understand the concept with you in the room.
How? Well there are a thousand ways to skin this cat! The important thing to know is that it takes thoughtful preparation to make this successful. Are you going to record screencast videos, use Khan Academy tutorials, provide pdf reading passages, send them to web pages? How are you going to deliver the materials? Edmodo, Google Drive, Google Classroom, email, class web page? Is there going to be an accountability piece to the watching, listening, reading materials? If so, are you going to collect summaries, highlighted notes, Notability notes? What do you do for those that were absent? Those that didn’t read, watch or listen?
What? Does it make sense to do this with all of you classes/subjects? Are you the type that goes to the pool and dives head first immediately, or, do you dip your left big toe first and begin the 10-minute process to get to your neck? Pretty much any subject can be flipped, as long as you can get the content in a form that can be sent home.
Where? do you go from here? Here’s a pretty useful site: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7081.pdf that outlines the process of flipping. If you’re looking for the tools that will help you get the job done, here are a few:
http://www.appitic.com/index.php/flipping/apps-for-flipped-classroom (this site breaks it down into those that help create and those that help deliver the content)
Look at that! You are now on your way to becoming one of those zealots I mentioned above! Just be sure to slow down your speech and don’t hit anyone with those flailing arms of yours!