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Flipping the Classroom

March 15, 2012

The “flip” refers to where students first see the content and where they try to apply what they have learned. The traditional model has lecture in class and assignments done primarily outside of class. Homework and assignments are typically done in isolation from the teacher and other students. Any problems had to be solved (or skipped) by the student until the next class. In a flipped classroom, the polished lectures or videos are available online for students to view at home. In class, students apply what they learned outside of class in groups with the teacher available to help.

Two years ago I reviewed Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology by Allan Collins and Richard Halverson  in another blog*. The concept of flipping reminded me of one of the authors’ points: technology can efficiently deliver polished lectures/readings/videos to students. When teachers are relieved of this task, they can concentrate on helping individual students or small groups. For a teacher seeing 150 students a day, this is an invaluable efficiency. Flipping the classroom promises exactly this. Students watch lecture or read a chapter outside class via the school’s learning management system, then apply it inside class where the teacher’s expertise or elements such as a laboratory are immediately available.

I am certain that there are teachers who have been doing this for a while. Flipping is not a new concept, but it is reinforced by the affordances of the Internet and the increasing access students have to streaming content.

*update: my old company “rebooted” the blog. i will try to find a copy and post it.


From → K12, Uncategorized


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