Feb 20, 2013 - education, reflection, technology    2 Comments

Week 6 Reflection Blog Post: To Flip or Not to Flip

This week we spent a lot of time reviewing articles and watching clips on what a flipped classroom is. This is a concept that I had never heard of before this week, but am incredibly intrigued about. Flipping a classroom means that the “sage on the stage” becomes more of a “guide on the side” in the sense that most of the instruction occurs outside of the classroom. This method was pioneered by Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams in Woodland Park, Colorado when they discovered how to record powerpoint presentations (KNEWTON, 2011). The powerpoints outline skills and concepts that are then put in to practice when the students reenter the classroom. Some people see this as just posting lectures online for students to view for homework, but I think it is actually a little different than that. When I think of lectures I think of long monologue that is boring to follow and involves no interaction with the students. However, when I think of the flipped classroom, I think of videos that are somewhat short and only outline single skills at a time. By using videos that have a clear purpose I think the students are more likely to grasp the concepts being taught as well as be engaged in the learning.

As we have discussed before, technology is becoming more and more prevalent in the classrooms, and flipping the class is just one of the ways it is being used. By making videos available to students outside of class teachers are reaching students on many different platforms (Overmyer). Some teachers have even made videos that the students can download onto their ipods or other devices for convenience. I think this method could be very effective, especially in a mathematics classroom where students often struggle with homework when they don’t have help. When this happens the students will often give up on the homework all together, because they are frustrated with one or two problems. By switching it so that the practice occurs in the classroom, the teacher can prevent situations like this from occurring by being available for questions. (Bennet, 2012)

In theory, I think this strategy could be very effective and cut down on student frustration in the subject of math. However, in reality I’m not so sure. First of all there is the issue of not all students having access to technology resources outside of the classroom. I didn’t see anything in the readings this week on how issues like that would be handled, but it would be a big concern. Another issue I would not be entirely sure how to approach would be the need for differentiation. There are going to be students who may need more examples or a slower approach to a skill, but how do you handle that through these videos? Would the teacher just post extra videos that were optional for students to view if they were still unsure? A couple of the articles mentioned how this is a great method for differentiating the classroom but I am still a little unsure as to how they do so, unless that differentiation is only occurring during the practice in the classroom. Overall I like the idea of a flipped classroom and would be very willing to give the concept a try.

 

References:

KNEWTON. (2011). The flipped classroom infographic. Retrieved from http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/

Overmyer, J. (n.d.). The flipped classroom. Retrieved from http://www.flippedclassroom.com/

Bennet, B. (2012, May 3). The flipped class revealed . Retrieved from http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/the-flipped-class-what-does-a-good-one-look-like-692.php

2 Comments

  • I had the same worry about students not being able to have the neccisary technology at home. The socio-economic status of the students and their families is not somethign that we can forget about as we attempt to press forward with technology in the classroom, or else these students will be left behind. Though having a flipped classroom would present so many opportunities for us to effectivly work with students with more engaging project based learning.

  • You provide a very clear overview of what flipping means. The concerns you listed were some of the same ones I originally felt when reading through the materials. I was happy to find that teachers have been able to overcome obstacles, such as limited technology access, and make this technique work. A friend of mine who is a retired Virginia school teacher said that some of her colleagues made videos for viewing outside the classroom, and that it really did benefit the students. While the classes weren’t completely flipped, the teachers did use many of the same techniques Bergmann and Sams use in their classrooms. I believe this is a very interesting concept, and I believe that once I had some experience as a teacher under my belt, I would definitely want to try it.

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