If I’d suggested flipping the teacher while I was still at school, I would have been in serious trouble. Given my reputation though, it wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary.
I once spread a rumour at primary school that my tyrant of a head teacher had died (wishful thinking), and when he came back from sick leave, I wasn’t the most popular child in the school. Having said that, many of the kids began to believe in the resurrection of the dead.
Once, during a chemistry lesson in secondary school, I was larking around and accidentally burnt a big hole in my teacher’s pretty floral dress with concentrated acid.
He was furious.
I got into a fair few scrapes and a lot of mischief, but suggesting that we ‘flip the teacher’ would have been the last straw.
Today, the idea of flipping the classroom is a familiar one. Flipping teachers may not be so familiar. Don’t panic though – I’m not advocating violence, nor am I suggesting children use obscene gestures. Flipping teachers is about swapping roles. I have already written about this in previous posts. The idea that teachers should become students so that their students can act as teachers may still be contentious and problematic, but I believe that as we see more flipped classroom approaches, the argument for also flipping the role of the teacher will become more compelling, and eventually more acceptable.
A little history: Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann developed the term ‘flipped classroom’ by considering the time spent by teachers with their students in classroom. They wished to maximise this time, and developed a number of strategies that involved instruction taking place outside the walls of the classroom. Inside, with the teacher present, students were able to explore their learning in more depth and detail, capitalising on ‘face time’ with the expert. The work of Harvard University professor Eric Mazur supports this approach, because, as he says – instruction is easier than assimilation, and advocated coaching rather than lecturing as early as the 1990s. This is not new of course. For centuries, innovative teachers have been trying to find other more effective methods of pedagogy that can take the place of lecturing and instruction.
If we are at all serious about promoting student centred learning, then we should at least reconsider the roles teachers traditionally play at the centre of the process, and begin to discover how we can help the student replace them. This does not mean that teachers relinquish their responsibilities or shirk their obligations. What it does mean is that teachers should seriously consider new forms of pedagogy where students are placed at the centre of the learning process, and have to spend some time ‘teaching’. We learn by teaching. If you have to teach or present something for an audience, you will make damn sure you go away and learn it thoroughly so you don’t make an absolute ass of yourself. This is the same principle we see when we flip the teacher.
Here are just five ways you can flip the teacher:
Ask students to peer-teach. This form of paragogy ensures that all students need to know something about the topic before they teach it, and can also learn from each other during the process. Even better, get them to teach you something you don’t already know about.
Give your students a problem to solve. Ask them to come back later to show how they solved the problem, and get them to defend their solution. If they all have different solutions, the fun can start.
Students create a self-directed project that encapsulates the principles or facts of the topic they are learning. It can be in the form of a video, or presentation, or role play, or even a blues song (be creative). Just as long as they ‘perform’ their work in front of an audience.
Act as a student, and ask your students awkward questions about what they have learnt. Challenge them to explain clearly what they know. This approach ensures that they must think more critically and reflectively about what they have learnt, and that they need to justify their decisions.
The age old seminar is a great flipping method. Ensure that each student has time to study a specific aspect of the course, and prepares teaching materials. They then get to present their work in front of you and their peer group, and are also tasked to encourage discussion by preparing some key questions.
In the past few months, the flipped learning model has hit mainstream media with articles appearing in the New York Times and even Southwest Airlines’
Spirit magazine. Traditionally, students learn new information through lecture or direct instruction while in school. Conversely, in a flipped class, students gain content knowledge at home through audio, video and text, so that more class time can be devoted to discussion, exploration and experimentation.
By using a flipped model, teachers provide content through a variety of modalities, giving students not only the ability to learn at their own pace but also in the way that best suits their learning needs. However, if we take the time to make our content available outside of class, what does learning look in school? Flipped benefits students in two ways:
It provides multiple pathways to gain knowledge and understanding.
As a result of this pedagogical shift, new learning opportunities can start to emerge.
More… The Flipped Mobile Classroom: Learning “Upside Down” | Edutopia.
Natasha Rausch is the first to admit that her first two attempts at creating video lessons from scratch were crude at best. “I used a cheap screencast download and filmed myself over a PowerPoint presentation that I’d made,” recalled Rausch, who teaches English and social studies to middle and high school students at Walden School/The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, MA.
“It took me hours to make and it looked horrible—like a B movie.”
Intent on flipping her classroom, Rausch started looking for a better way to produce content. Ideally, she wanted a whiteboard-type app that would allow her to create the flipped classroom presentations. That was a tall order for a teacher of deaf students. “All whiteboard apps at the time were audio-only,” Rausch said.
Ask and You Shall Receive
Having taught with iPads since 2011, she was introduced to Knowmia Teach, a free iPad app, at a summer workshop. Teachers use the app to create dynamic video presentations and publish them on the apps website. Rausch took an interest in the app that went beyond simply downloading it and using it. “I suggested that Knowmia find a way to incorporate a camera and video recording option so teachers could record themselves over the slides explaining their lessons,” said Rausch.
via Free App Lets Teachers Create High Quality Flipped Video on iPads — THE Journal.
I’ve been an instructional designer for a long time. I remember when video was a cutting edge technology. I remember when “CBT” was something only very high financed companies could create and it was delivered on a floppy disc. And I remember incorporating many different delivery media into my designs and calling it “blended learning”.
Lately, we’ve been hearing about this new model called The Flipped Classroom. My cynical self immediately thought “Oh, they’re just re-branding blended learning with a new name.” However, I had discussions with a colleague about it and became a little more intrigued. I decided to stop trying to prove that The Flipped Classroom was just Blended Learning, and focus on learning more about it. Working with Sarah Gilbert, I learned a bit more about the concept. Here’s some of what I have learned:
The Flipped Classroom is definitely a subset of Blended Learning, but with a different focus.
Read more: Isn’t The Flipped Classroom Just Blended Learning? « Ileighanne’s Blog.
Some have doubts about flipped classrooms, but at Clintondale High in Clinton Township, Michigan, they really have worked wonders. The principal Greg Green give us the stats below. They are impressive. They would be impressive in a high socio-economic area, but Greg’s school is not, so in my view this makes even more compelling reading.
“At Clintondale High School, we have been using this education model for the past 18 months. During this time, our attendance rate has increased, our discipline rate decreased, and, most importantly, our failure rate – the number of students failing each class – has gone down significantly. When we first implemented this model in the ninth grade, our student failure rate dropped by 33% in one year.
In English, the failure rate went from 52% to 19%; in math, 44% to 13%; in science, 41% to 19%; and in social studies, 28% to 9%. In September of 2011, the entire school began using the flipped instruction model, and already the impact is significant. During the first semester of the year, the overall failure rate at the school dropped to 10%. We’ve also seen notable improvement on statewide test scores, proving that students’ understanding of the material is better under this model.”
via My View: Flipped classrooms give every student a chance to succeed – Schools of Thought – CNN.com Blogs.
A growing number of educators are working to turn learning on its head by replacing traditional classroom lectures with video tutorials, an approach popularly called the “flipped classroom.” Interest in that teaching method was in full view this summer at the International Society for Technology in Education annual conference in San Diego, where almost every session on the topic was filled to capacity.
The movement was inspired partly by the work of Salman Khan, who created a library of free online tutoring videos spanning a variety of academic subjects, known as the Khan Academy, which many view as a touchstone of the flipped-classroom technique. But, much like the Khan Academy itself, the approach is attracting increasing scrutiny—and criticism—among educators and researchers.
The term “flipping” comes from the idea of swapping homework for class work. Students typically are assigned the video-watching for homework, freeing up class time that used to be spent listening to lectures for hands-on activities and application of knowledge, which used to serve as homework.
Full Text: Education Week: Educators Evaluate ‘Flipped Classrooms’.