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Exploring frontiers of teaching, jazz, yoga, Macs, film

A chance for students to curate the content

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Your skepticism is well deserved. Flipping the classroom is the equivalent of using your DVR or TiVo to time shift your television viewing. Its success depends on the quality of the web content, how it supports student engagement and reflection, and how you leverage the class time that it "frees' up.

I see flipping as a great opportunity to engage our students in a PBL-style approach to taking more responsibility for their learning. Why not let your students curate the video lessons from existing content on the web? Here's my how to - "How to Flip Your Classroom - and Get Your Students to Do the Work" http://bit.ly/rp5O0y

Plus it's a good venue for digital hygiene training. Most students are using YouTube as one of their primary search engines.

Not Flipping for Flipped Classrooms

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While I agree with most of the points here, I don't see how flipping "helps move a classroom culture towards student construction of knowledge rather than the teacher having to tell the knowledge to students." If a teacher is recording lectures, they are still telling the knowledge to the students, just digitally and outside of class. At best students may feel better supported to make sense of what is presented, but it's still making sense of someone else's approach, not constructing their own.

Teacher

A Flipped Teacher

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Here is an interesting video about a middle school teacher who has ideas about how flipped classrooms can make real change: http://youtu.be/qNB09NPKF2o

SIX best practices

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Well said! I think we need add a 6th item, though.
6) Communication skill
Far too many videos are made showcasing dreadful speaking. It is cruel to ask students to watch a lesson delivered poorly. Monotonous voices, odd vocal patterns, poor visuals, annoying soundtracks, dull presentation of material--all of these are more common than not. I realize that speaking skill is not on the radar for most teachers (CCSS "Speaking & Listening" may change that), but exceptional communication skills are required to pull off a digital presentation. There is little available right now to help teachers. Check out http://www.stenhouse.com/shop/pc/viewprd.asp?idProduct=9335&r=&REFERER= and look this summer for Digitally Speaking, a new book about how to use digital tools that showcase speaking well.

Founder, Director of SuperScience for High School Physics

The Flipped Classroom Is the Hybrid School Model of the 80s

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Andrew:

I think you have some good points. What I would like to address, however, is the true origin of what is being referred to here as a "flipped classroom" http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom . This is merely a model that two teachers came up with that already existed in my head back in the 80s because of my experiences with school during the major snow blizzards of the late 70s. I also saw its early evolution through the use of video tape lectures at Columbus Technical Institute. Also, the model effects the entire school, not just the class.

What we had to do was watch school lessons on public TV stations and then go to school for just a couple days a week. Our home work was based on what we watched on TV, which were basically lectures.

OK, now flash forward to the mid to late 80s when school districts started to really have problems with school funding in some parts of the country. Regardless of the politics of school funding, a solution would have to be developed where schools were still open, regardless. Enter the hybrid school model, where students are only taught by fully accredited teachers on a part time basis, the rest of the time at school they are watching lecture videos, etc. under the guidance of a teacher's aide who is not accredited, or engaging in various learning exercises. The various other aspects of the flipped classroom are just par for the course.

So what I'm saying is that the promotion of flipped classrooms will lead to hybrid schools as school systems that are facing massive budgets crunches start looking for ways to deal with teacher unions, etc. After all, the "sage on the stage" will always be seen as the primary authority in the educational setting. It doesn't take a sage to be the "guide on the side", nor the same salary.

High school math teacher at Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN

Excellent Advice

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I completely agree with Mr. Miller's points here. Flipping a classroom won't make you a better teacher. If anything, it's harder teaching a flipped course, because you need to prepare interesting activities that reinforce and justify the screencast content. However, my students love it, and we are covering more material this year than any other group of precalculus students I've ever worked with. I recently compiled their feedback after the first semester of working in a flipped class:
http://fractad.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/a-follow-up-to-teaching-in-a-rev...
BTW, my school is a one-to-one laptop school, so there really aren't any technology concerns. If we weren't, it would be difficult to expect everyone to watch the screencast for homework.

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