With this technologically savvy generation wanting to capture everything on their iPhone (“Honey, I have a great clip of the baby coming out to post on youtube for all to see.”) to the desire for 15 minutes of fame (or more), one the latest teaching innovations to hit a local school near you is the flipped classroom.
A short description of a flipped classroom is as follows: Students watch an educational video for homework and then use their newly acquired knowledge to complete related activities and projects in the classroom. Teachers can either create and post their own videos or use a wealth of other teacher’s videos for their lessons.
There are many pros and cons to this new school experience. Let’s explore a few.
- Students need to take greater responsibility for their education. They are required to watch the videos and take notes so that they are prepared for the classroom activities.
- It is believed that the flipped classroom levels the educational playing field. Quick students might only need to watch the video once to gain the knowledge while slower students can readily rewind and replay the video until they master the information without public embarrassment or slowing down the classroom pace.
- Should students miss school, they can readily watch the video to gain the knowledge.
- The active in-class lessons create a more social and collaborative atmosphere.
- The teacher is able to spend more one on one learning time with students while they are actively engaging in the classroom assignment and the teacher can focus on more needy students.
- Making engaging videos can be challenging and time consuming. However, there are many educational resources for this. Some examples are those from youtube.com/edu and knowmai.com.
- Lower socio-economic students may not have internet and computer resources at home.
- Engaging some students in the classroom activities might be challenging. Some students have a hard time adjusting to this new system and prefer passive sitting to active doing.
- Teachers need to plan well for the extra class time now available for creative projects based on lesson objectives. Teachers also need to assure that higher order thinking skills are taking place and move away from the rote thinking of the past.
- Some are wondering if kids really need even more time in front of a screen.
Have you tried a flipped classroom? What are your thoughts on this latest teaching technique? We’d love to hear from you.