My partner turned to me the other day after scouring his medical blogs and said “why don’t you flip the classroom?” This was new to me but it is not a new concept.
The idea being that children watch lectures in their own time, at their own pace. They view the lesson before it has happened. They embrace technology at home and return to the classroom for the homework. This enables a more humanistic approach in the classroom. The teacher becomes free to help the children struggling with the concepts or direct them to their peers who maybe able to teach them more efficiently. The class does their homework in the class time and the children can then collaborate with peers or the teacher to problem solve the questions set. They are no longer left behind in the classroom and sent home to struggle.
Salman Khan eloquently states ‘Its like learning to ride a bike and having difficulty braking and turning left. You get a ‘C’ for riding a bike and then the next lesson you are asked to ride a unicycle’.The infamous TED talk to explain it all: http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html Check out the website for lessons to flip your classroom: https://www.khanacademy.org
UPDATE: April 2014
So, the early research on “flipping the classroom” looks good:
* higher student achievement
* increased student engagement
* better attitudes toward learning and school.For the full report see: The Flipped Learning Network’s – Executive Summary
But… as teachers we cannot guarantee what happens at home and therefore the “flipped classroom” may not be success due to, e.g. having access to reliable, consistent internet out of school.
Use the “flipped classroom” model in class! If like me, you organise your lessons and the children’s learning by ‘stations’ or different activities, then why not have the direct learning e.g. watching a pre-recorded or selected clip, as one of your stations?
- The teacher is present to observe whether students are really watching
- The initial exposure to the video content has a better chance to sink in and teacher’s can assess who needs extra support
- Hardware is (presumably) safer and more reliable
Some potential challenges:
1. It can be seen as a “messy” classroom with children going in a out of different activities
2. As the teacher, more preparation is needed before the lesson
3. Technically, unlike the real “flipped classroom” approach, you do not gain extra teaching time as the children are doing both the learning and the “homework” during the same lesson