The simplified definition of a flipped classroom would be when a teacher gives more “control” to the students on how they learn new skills and concepts. Instead of giving a daily lecture, students can view this as a video in an environment they choose. This allows more class time to be given to various learning activities such as projects, labs, discussions, and small group or one-on-one instruction.
Does it Work?
HECK TO THE YEAH IT WORKS! I began flipping my class in 2014 taking small baby steps. I began to see the potential almost immediately . Fast forward to the present day, and I have students digging deeper into content than I have ever had before. I do not give homework (more on that in your free gift you receive for subscribing) and yet I have students completing assignments and projects on Friday nights as soon as they get home, because they actually WANT to. Students are in more control for how they take in new learning. This allows me to spend more time working with small groups or one-on-one with students in class. I am constantly building and forming strong relationships with my students. This has led to fewer discipline problems, students are more involved in day-to-activities, and a greater sense of ownership by the students for their personalized learning experience.
How Can You Get Started?
Simple -Research like crazy and ask teachers who have experience in flipping their classrooms. The good news is you are on this page and I am here to help. Please subscribe to the site by providing your best email address. I am also in the middle of developing a FREE 7 step course on how to flip your class. Once completed, all of the subscribers will receive a free copy of the course. Don’t worry, I will not share your email out as I know how annoying it is to get a bunch of spam email. Here is the best part! If you ever have a question, comment or concern, simply reply to the email which will be sent to my personal email where we can begin an on-going dialogue. So, check back as I plan on launching the course sometime this summer.
How I Started
I remember when our administration shared to us about plans to have more students in front of technology. I have always viewed technology as a magnify glass in that it will enhance what you are doing. Notice that I did not say having technology makes you a good teacher. If you are the kind of teacher that works hard to meet the needs of your students, then having more tech in your room will enhance your ability to do so.
I began to research the idea and came across this article from US News. The part that stood at to me the most was the following:
“New data from the program given to U.S. News shows the bottom third of students’ grades were more than 10 percent higher than in a traditional classroom (the difference between a D+ and a C) and more than 3 percent higher for the class as a whole (moving from a C+ to a B-).”
That is when I began to reflect on my own experience with using technology in the classroom both as a teacher and as a student growing up. The sad truth was that I had a limited experience at best. As a student, I remember a computer was pretty much used only for writing papers. As a teacher, I only gave my students computers to play review games or at best create a presentation on a topic.
I felt a bit stumped until I remembered the first time I heard of flipping a class. I was in college and was researching “inquiry based” learning. I wanted to be a science teacher (currently am one) and knew that I needed to do something during my student teaching that would make me stand out. The research on inquiry based teaching was pretty new at the time (circa 2007ish when Fergie told the world big girls don’t cry), but I was fortunate as one of the leading researchers was a professor at Ohio State University-Marion and I was already signed up to take his physics class during the upcoming quarter. I had an “OK” experience in that class. There were components that I felt were flawed, and others that I thought were full of potential.
Later on in Grad School, I had a professor that assigned our cohort to read various educational peer reviewed articles (sounds like a fun time doesn’t it?). The assignment had potential to really be a dud, but the professor put a spin on it. Instead of taking a quiz or giving a book report style presentation on it, we could show her what we learned in any way we chose. This spoke to my creative personality. A couple of buddies and I set out on a mission to dominate this assignment that was only worth 10 points. We ended up making music videos from old songs from the 90s (a.k.a. the best era for music), cartoons and even pranked our cohort. That is a long story for maybe a different post in the future, but the bottom line is that having the freedom to choose how we were going to be assessed led to a much more impactful learning experience.
Think about what prior knowledge and experiences you have to build from. Are there teachers who have flipped classrooms in your building or network that you can reach out to? Feel free to reach out to me as I respond to all comments and emails (firstname.lastname@example.org) if there is something I can help you with. Don’t forget to subscribe!
Have fun and enjoy the process of flipping your class!