Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Flipped Classroom - my thoughts on it, some other ideas, & infographic

"Flipped Classroom" is a classroom model where the teacher works with students on projects and what would be typically homework instead of a lecture and the students get the "lecture" at home, usually through a video (like from Kahn Academy, or made by the teacher, or from Discovery Education). The proponents of this model say that it offers the teacher more time to work with students on projects and applying the knowledge, rather than spending time delivering that knowledge. The opponents say that it moves too much work to the student at home and many students don't have access to the resources, like broadband internet and a computer, to watch these videos.

In my opinion, this is nothing new. Teachers assigned reading out of the textbook for homework, and now they want to assign video lectures to watch. What's so different? Does it really improve student learning?

Here's my full article on my reservations of the Flipped Classroom Model: http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com/2011/04/flipped-classroom-what-it-is-and-my.html

I have students who don't have the time, computer, internet access, or ability to watch videos at home. A video is still a lecture. At home, the students have less access to someone to ask questions of.

Instead of making the students watch lectures at home, can we get rid of lectures all together, or at least change them?

I use lectures in my class. They are short, have lots of multimedia and live demonstrations, and lots of interaction between the students, each other, and my self. I use these lectures in different ways. Sometimes I use them to introduce a topic and the main points and then students do labs and projects were they further explore the concept and learn more about it, while learning other important skills. Other times I start with an inquiry lab or project and then the lecture comes later. With these lecture/discussion/demo's I can ensure that all students are getting certain information and that they have a chance to ask questions and discuss the topic.  I use short videos and animations in class. Could some of this be put on the student to do at home? Yes, but it would not be the same learning experience.

I don't assign a lot of homework. My students have sports, part time jobs, clubs, and many do a lot of work at home due to their situations. They do get some homework, but they have time to start it in class to ask for help.

I want my students to learn, but I don't want them spending hours and hours doing homework, or watching videos at night. I want them to have had a learning experience in school that makes them look at the world around them at home, and wonder why?, how? and be able to apply what they learned in school, to something outside of school. I want them to find things that they are interested in, and want to learn more about it on their own. I think we should be focusing on making school time more productive and effective and leave out of school time for the students to explore their own interests and needs.


10 Important Skills that Students Need for the Future - watching videos and taking tests are not on list

10 Tech Skills Every Student Should Have

What I use with Physics classes instead of a Textbook

Project Based Learning

WPI Plan - Great Educational Model for All Schools

Making School Relevant for Students

What are your thoughts?

Here's an infographic summarizing what the Flipped Classroom is and some data they found. I don't endorse this or the data, just sharing it so people can make their own decision.
Flipped Classroom
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media


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