Some teachers are flipping their classes.
They put the teaching element of the class on YouTube or similar and spend class time doing more 1-2-1 with students. This flip-flop of watching class at home and doing assignments in class is how the flipped classroom got its name.
Here’s an example from CockrumVideos:
So is this a good or a bad idea?
Some like Troy Cockrum are having really good results, but some of the comments in the article highlight some of the pitfalls of this pedagogy.
- Some students aren’t ready for this, particularly I suspect adult learners who have become accustomed to lecturers who just, well, lecture.
- Some students don’t have access to the web at home or in halls, so will be at a disadvantage
- Some students only have dial-up access and won’t be able to watch the videos
- Watching at the library may not be an option if kids are rural or if parents can’t afford to drive their kids there
- Many public libraries don’t open in the evenings
On the plus side
- For parents who like to help their kids with their homework, it provides revision of the topic for the parents too
- It’s new and novel and engaging
- It frees up teachers to help those who need it most
When it works it seems to work well.
Take this comment in the article from KCParker:
“I am located in NC teaching 8th grade math and algegbra and am currently using the flipped classroom model. I love it. My students love it. My students’ parents love it.
The biggest complaint I get from parents is that they want to help their student with the math homework, but they just don’t remember how to. The flipped classroom eliminates the home frustration of not knowing how to do the math and in a way invites the parents to my classroom without having to physically be there.
The students in my classroom work in centers and I sit with about 8 students at a time while the others practice in different ways(i.e. puzzles, games, challenge problems). This really lets me see on a daily basis who is getting it and who is not.
And as for the the equity issue, I burn DVD’s for the students without internet.
There is no way around notes in math. They are completely necessary, however checking homework, teaching a lesson and waiting for students to copy eats up entirely too much time. Especially when I only have 55 minutes with each group. The kids don’t mind so much getting on the computer or TV for homework. I check their notes off as their homework grade and we complete practice in class. I use daily exit quizzes to track progress. This holds students accountable for working productively at their centers while I have carpet time with the small groups. The students are also required to fill out an activity log and learning targets for the week with reflective questions about what activities helped the most and what topics they are still struggling with. The majority of the students say that carpet time is their favorite and most beneficial activity. If I weren’t using the flipped classroom model there is no way I could offer this small group learning environment that they so obviously crave.”
So are you using the flipped model and how is it working for you?