The Flipped Classroom

You can't read many blogs about new trends in education without hearing about the "Flipped" classroom. This tech quest will explore the description of various styles of flipping the classroom, the advantages as well as challenges of flipped classrooms, and will examine some web 2.0 tools, software, and apps that can be used for flipping the classroom.

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

What is the Flipped Classroom?
The most important component in a flipped classroom is that the lecture is delivered as homework via a video. The students watch the video prior to attending class, then the class period is spent exploring the content, practicing skills with the teacher answering questions,and fostering collaborative exchanges among students. Since students are watching the instruction videos as homework, class time can be spent clearing up misunderstandings and engaging students in meaningful activities that increase their depth of knowledge. The creators of the idea of the Flipped Learning Network, high school science teachers Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams, asked themselves, "What's the best use of face-to-face class time?" Delivering lectures was not the answer.

Advantages of the Flipped Classroom Model:
The number one reason proponents cite for flipping the classroom is that the video lecture format frees up classroom time for teachers and students to really work with the content. Instructional content videos can be viewed by students in ways that increase their learning. Students can pause a video, take notes, rewind, practice, and play it over and over until they have understood the content. The lecture is available for later review or for students who are absent.

Proponents argue that the recorded lectures will be shorter than you can teach the same material in a classroom, due to the nature of lecturing to a room full of students. Instruction that takes half an hour in a regular classroom may only take 10 minutes when recorded for later playback.

How Does This Work for All Learners? Katie Gimbar, 8th grade math teacher in North Carolina, describes how the flipped classroom helps her meet the needs of all of the learners she teaches.

This blog posting gathered 8 Great Reasons to Flip Your Classroom from Bergmann and Sams book, Flip Your Classroom.

Drawbacks to the Flipped Classroom:
The most common argument against flipping the classroom is that all students do not have access to the Internet at home, and teachers cannot always provide the video lecture in a format that is available for those who do not have such access. Another negative is that students who do not watch the videos will not receive any instruction in the content, and therefore the classroom activities will not be effective for learning.

A discussion of both the positives and the negative aspects of flipping is available from this article by Mary Beth Hertz for Edutopia,

At this point, it is a good idea to explore what The Flipped Classroom is Not:

One thing to note, our district does not want teachers recording their lectures, particularly with students in the lecture, and posting them on the web. The digital divide in our district also eliminates the possibility of requiring students to watch content lectures for "homework." However, there are some teachers who are using "Flipping" tools to create videos of content for their students to access for review, or to provide instruction in the event of a student's or even a teacher's absence.

Tools for Flipping the Classroom:
Here are some of the possible tools you may be familiar with. Some of these tools have been explored on our 21 Things wiki or Gadget Virtual Tour.
Digital Video Cameras

Livescribe or other smartpens that record audio and writing.

SMART Recording software (links to instructions) The SMART software already loaded on your computer is a good tool to use for screencasting. When I taught sixth grade social studies students how to use Easy Bib to create bibliographic citations, I recorded it in several steps so students could review it later. This saved time repeating myself, and they were able to access my instructions when they were working on their project at home. The last step, how to turn their working bibliography into one that was ready to turn in, was shown during the first few minutes of their reading class, instead of during their visit with their social studies teachers. You can see examples here, and here of SMART Recording software screencasts.

Screencasting applications allow teachers or students to capture what they are doing on an iPad with audio and video. The students become the teachers as they use the iPad to create projects that explain and explore topics. These are great apps for the Flipped Classroom. Some of these include
ShowMe, ScreenChomp, Explain Everything and Educreations.
A free app, Knowmia Teach uses a PowerPoint format to share recorded lessons.

Your Assignment:
Pick one flipping tool. Record a lesson for playing in your classroom. Post a link to the lesson in Edmodo, and share your reflection on the philosophy of flipping the classroom.

Are You Ready to Level Up?
Try these tasks for more practice.
+5 for trying another flipped tool and posting your lesson in Edmodo.
+1 for each time you follow the #flipclass Twitter Chat on Monday nights at 8:00 p.m.
+1 for each comment you make during the #flipclass Twitter Chat

Revisit the previous challenges for extra practice.
Multimedia Storytelling
+1 for every storytelling app you explore
+5 for every digital story you use to introduce or review a lesson
+10 for sharing new students' products online for parents and the community to admire (remember to keep student names private)

Digital Citizenship

+5 Embed another Digital Citizenship lesson into your curriculum.
+1 For every Flickr or Google image used in your presentations this month that are licensed under Creative Commons and attributed as licensed.

+1 for every additional comment you write on a blog
+1 reaching 40 people following on Twitter
+1 reaching 50 people following on Twitter
+1 every Tweet of a resource/article you share on Twitter
+1 for every person that follows you on Twitter
+2 for every RT you receive

School/Home Communication
+1 Update your calendar page for January
+1 Update your student work page
+1 for each blog post you write on your class blog
+1 for each reminder sent using a group text service
+1 Poll your parents or students
+1 Use QR codes in an assignment or on a letter/newsletter/bulletin board
+1 for every newsletter, digital scrapbook page, audio clip or playlist created and shared

Monique German