Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Flipped Classroom: Turning Education on it's head!

Many of today's educators are experimenting with the idea of a flipped classroom model. Basically the flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching methods, delivering instruction online outside the class and moving "homework" into the classroom. In a traditional classroom, the teacher's role is a "sage on the stage", whereas in a flipped classroom, the teacher's role is the "guide on the side". In a flipped classroom model, the students will watch lectures and do classwork at home and at their own pace; often they may have the opportunity to communicate with peers and the teacher via online instruction. The concept engagement then takes place inside the classroom with the help and guidance of the teacher. The classroom flip can provide opportunity for learning through activity and uses educational technology which in turn influences a positive learning environment. 

There are two key factors that drive increased adoption of the flipped classroom model. These factors are the following: 
Poor Learning Outcomes and Prevalence of Online Video. The first, poor learning outcomes, refers to the idea that the traditional 'one size fits all' method of teaching often can result in limited concept engagement and severe consequences. The second factor, prevalence of online video, refers to the availability of online video and increasing student access to technology has paved the way for flipped classroom models. The following picture shows some statistics of yearly high school dropouts currently with the traditional classroom model.

This reversed teaching model has countless benefits. Flipped classrooms will deliver instruction at home through interactive, teacher-created videos and moves homework to the classroom. 
  • Allows teachers to spend more one-on-one time with each individual student
  • Creates a collaborative learning environment
  • Builds stronger student/ teacher relationships 
  • Offers a way for teachers to share information with other faculty, substitute teachers, students, parents, and the community easily
  • Produces the ability for students to rewind lessons to master topics

The following video shows a fourth grade teacher sending a message to the parents of her students about how she is beginning to flip the math content in her classroom. She describes a flipped classroom as an innovative approach to classroom instruction. She explains that it will allow students to come to class prepared with background knowledge which will in turn bring their learning to a higher level as well as not waste any classroom instruction time. The flipped classroom is creative, incorporates technology, and will prepare students for possible future jobs that do not even exist yet.

This next video shows an eighth grade teacher talking about why she decided to flip her algebra 1 classroom. She talks about the idea of students having the ability to pause, rewind, and re-watch the videos as many times as they need, as well as post questions online to the teachers or other students. Each student is able to go at their own pace. ALL students are engaged and challenged. Flipped classrooms also allow more time for teachers to work with the students to provide effective differentiation.

As technology becomes more and more common in today's world, flipped classroom models are appearing in school more often. Not all students are able to learn the same way and at the same pace. A flipped classroom allows for students to watch and re-watch videos that the teacher has posted as many times as they need until they feel 100% confident in the material. Because more time is available for teacher-student interaction within the class, teachers can also get to know their students better. Teachers can send their knowledge out to students (and parents) to their homes as a 5-10 minute video, which in turn frees up more time for teachers to interact one on one with students. Grades improve, high order thinking skills are used, and students are overall more engaged. The technology is not limited to a home computer- laptops, ipods, ipads, iphones, and even DVDs are all ways that students can access the instruction. Flipped classroom is a great way for teachers to promote higher learning both inside and outside the classroom. 

Helpful Links
Click here for a link containing an infographic with good information about what a flipped classroom is. The infographic tells what a flipped classroom is, shows where it originally came from and where it is now. It also provides statistics, examples, and results.

Click here for a helpful link that gives great information about the definition, the benefits, and why it is useful. It also gives more links for further research as well as printable downloads that are available for free.

Click here for a blog with information about flipped lessons, videos, and blog posts with detailed information. The blog has posts that answer questions such as "How can administrators support their teachers as they start to flip" and "Flipped Learning: Revolution or Transformation?" 

Click here for a website that lists fifteen different schools that are currently using the flipped classroom method and give information about how that is working. It talks specifically about each school and how many teachers use the flipped classroom model, how it is works in their school, and whether or not it has been successful.

Click here for a website that gives pros, cons, what it is, what it isn't, why it works, and why it doesn't work. It goes on to describe why a flipped classroom matters. It talks about inspiring classroom teachers to change the way they've always done things and begin to incorporate modern technology and other tools.

"The Flipped Classroom Infographic." The Flipped Classroom: Turning the Traditional Classroom on Its Head. Web. 21 Sept 2012. <>.

"The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con." Edutopia. Web. 21 Sept. 2012. <>.

"Teachers Use Technology to Flip Their Classrooms." TechSmith. Web. 21 Sept. 2012. <>.

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