Have you flipped your classroom yet?
By the end of this post I guarantee that you will be asking yourself why you haven’t yet.
What is a flipped classroom?
A flipped classroom takes many forms however essentially it is the reverse of traditional teaching methodology in that students work through the content at home and then practice during class where the teacher is available to help them.
The way students engage with the content varies from teacher curated videos to commercial videos, podcasts, powerpoints and a range of other interactive platforms.
Many of us have engaged in flipped teaching at one stage during our careers, even asking students to read a section of text or review a powerpoint at home before attending class is an example of flipped teaching.
The reason that flipped teaching is gaining such momentum at the moment though is that content is getting easier to find or make. Technology is getting easier to access for teachers and students.
With the role out of NBN the ability of students to download and stream videos at home is increasing in ease.
What are the benefits of flipping?
So at this stage you must be thinking if it is so great and their are so many educational benefits then why isn’t everyone doing it?
That question is fair enough and is the the most common blocker to teachers starting on their way to achieving a flipped classroom.
Barriers to flipped learning (notice I used barriers not disadvantages)
Ok, so there are 6 barriers that you might have considered, compared to at least 7 advantages. That alone should convince you that there must be something in this flipped idea.
For each of the barriers outlined above I want you to consider are they barriers to education in general?
Do all your student turn up having done their homework? I know that mine don’t and there are consequences for that.
I don’t have enough time to do all the things that I want to for my class. I usually prioritise the things that make the biggest impact though. Making flipped videos will have an impact I guarantee it. Once you practice making your videos you get much faster. I can now produce up to 4 or 5 videos in an hour with a small amount of editing time, and I can give you hints on how to do it to.
I didn’t know how to make videos to start with but I did know how to teach. My first videos are in front of a whiteboard using the webcam in my computer, they weren’t my best ones but my students still got great benefit out of them. Everyone can make a video and just like with anything new we learn we get better with the more practice we do.
I don’t like the sound of my own voice either, but you get over it and in the end your not watching the videos. It also pays to remember that your students listen to your voice everyday in class so listening to it on a video is nothing new for them.
My school has a number of students that don’t have internet at home so I either provide them videos on another device like a USB or I upload to YouTube or in the worst cases no one says they have to watch them at home unless you do. In fact there are a number of successful examples of teachers using a blended teaching environment in their classroom where students watch their videos at school.
Lastly, I get it why change when what you doing is working just fine. Is just fine good enough though? What if it could be better? Flipped teaching can work for every student and give them opportunities that they would never have like 70 minutes of access to you the teacher every lesson!
Ok, are you convinced? It is definitely worth a shot. My recommendation though is don’t try to do all your classes at once, you will hate it and feel burnt out. Try flipping a couple of lessons and get feedback from your students.
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