Hot Topic – Flipped Classrooms

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Over the last few weeks I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on linked in regarding the “flipped classroom” and which schools are starting to use this model, some even calling it a paradigm shift.  What the flipped model is a different way of teaching K-12.  It’s trying to make the time spent with students more effective instead of talking at them or lecturing.

The students, instead of listening to a lecture in class for an hour, watch a video of their teacher at home as homework.  Then, when they come to class the next day, the teacher is able to spend class time doing activities to reinforce the lesson.  There are definitely advantages to this model and it’s pretty much the way we’ve been learning in higher education for a long time, although not through videos but through reading assignments as well as the lecture class and the practical learning class.
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In the traditional way of learning we are all used to, the teacher spends class time teaching a specific lesson, doing some activities or exercises to make sure the students understand and then the rest of the reinforcement is done for homework.  The problem, I see and have experienced with this, is often times, the students get home, start their homework and don’t remember what was said in class – this is of course for the higher elementary and middle school grades, although I’m sure it happens at every level.  I think the flipped model could eliminate a lot of wasted time by using the class time to reinforce the lesson and to make sure the students have a higher understanding of what is being taught.

While researching more about this topic, I came across a blog written by two high school chemistry teachers who have used the flipped classroom model successfully.  They talk about what they did and how it worked.  You can see more of their experience here

http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/how-the-flipped-classroom-is-radically-transforming-learning-536.php

There are many examples of it working successfully.  Obviously, there are start up costs and it would take time to implement it correctly as you would need the proper software to record yourself, etc.  In my opinion, the more we can get students to practice what they learn and use the time spent in the classroom doing practical exercises and activities, the better.

What do you think?

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jennifer.dermer