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Ovation: Flipped Classrooms.

01/20/2014

FlippedClassroomI was an extremely average student.  I spent every hour of classroom time taking notes and highlighting sections of text books so that I could review them again and again on my own later on.  In some subjects I would struggle with my homework, referring to my classroom notes again and again until I was reasonably certain that I had learned the lesson that I was supposed to have learned.  I never really learned how to study.  Had I the opportunity to ask questions as I progressed through my homework, I believe I would have developed much better study skills.

Collin Black, a science teach at Warren Township High School in Gurnee, Illinois helps his students do their homework in class and sends his lectures home in what is becoming known as a “flipped classroom”.  Black, and other teachers using the method, condense their lectures into brief, homemade and often fun or light-hearted videos that students can watch and re-watch outside of the classroom whenever they like.  The next day, they get their questions answered and apply the lesson with the teacher in the room.

“I can talk faster in the video because I don’t have to slow down for the kids to make sure they’re catching it.  They can pause it, rewind it, so I can talk faster, and they can pick up that information quicker.” – Collin Black

Students appear to enjoy the teaching style as well.

“We’re, like, able to pause and go back and, like, re-go over stuff we don’t understand.  The videos are nice.  I actually like them.  They are much easier than what we had to do last year.” – Hailey Dorsey, Freshman

“It’s really nice to go home, go look on the YouTube channel and you know, watch the videos.” – Jared Cosey, Freshman

Educators Jon Bergmann, along with partner Aaron Sams, came up with the flipped classroom concept that was originally designed for football players who missed class while on the road.  Bergmann sums up the thoughts that I always had while pouring over classroom notes …

“We have school backwards.  We’re sending kids home to do the hard stuff.  We’re sending them home to apply, analyze and synthesize content, and they can’t do it.  Now when they come to class in a flipped classroom, the difficult tasks – application, analysis and synthesis – happens with the expert, the most important person, the teacher, present.” – Jon Bergmann

According to Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit group, three percent of teachers are flipping classrooms now, 18 percent have expressed interest and 28 percent of school administrations want to do it.  I think they should all be allowed to give the method a try.

What do you think about “flipped classrooms”?

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9 Comments
  1. thedogs'mother permalink

    I like it if the resources are available and homelife supports learning time.

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  2. This is a terrific idea. I ran it by my daughter, a junior in high school, and she loved it. The rewinding part is great. I think to make it even more worthwhile would be to have links to more in depth review if someone is not getting it (almost like a help desk).

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  3. Sounds like the future and the right way to go with how kids process information these days. I sent it to my sister who teaches 7-8 grades and is getting a new degree to become a principal and what she’s learning is very different from what they wanted from teachers and principals even 10 years ago. Also, in my nephew’s high school 9-12 all students will be getting tablets and some of their text books will only be ebooks.

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    • It seems foolish to me for educators to not take advantage of the unlimited resources found on the internet at little to no cost. Children who used to spend hours in front of television screens playing video games may soon spend those same hours in front of the same screen LEARNING!

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      • Found out from my sister that she flipped her classroom 2 years ago! She doesn’t do the videos but they employ the other concepts and techniques.

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        • I imagine it must be working for her or she would have switched back by now. I think it sounds like something that would have been very beneficial to me as a student and probably many others. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Brilliant!

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  5. Sounds like a good plan. I would have loved to be able to take lectures home to listen to them over & over – it’s how I learn best.

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