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Educator, Social Entrepreneur + Founder of Pretty Brainy, Inc.

Working with Infrastructure

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Regarding Alizabeth's points, I am compelled to share a solution one of my colleagues employs. He and leaders at his school are very keen on the flipped classroom because of the outcomes they are seeing, including a boost in student engagement. But because some of his middle school social studies students face issues similar to what Alizabeth points out, he works with students (and staff) to build computer access into the school day.
Despite schedules, financial means, extracurricular activities and so on, each student is connected to the recorded lesson material at school preparatory to class time. The whole point of the flipped classroom is that it is an opportunity for educators to provide students individualized attention and instruction in class, no? My example is just about one teacher who is being creative with students' at-school time in order to make it work.

By the way, can anyone cite examples of educators who are feeling recharged in their approach to teaching thanks to the flipped model?

NBCT, science educator

Flipping before the internet....

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25 years ago my civics teacher assigned us to watch and analyze national news broadcast. The next class period we would have discussions on what we learned. This was all before the internet of course, so the idea of giving independent work to increase/enhance face:face time is not new. Although today we have more technology tools at our disposal, most are not needed to drive or enhance learning.
Do you really need infrastructure to "flip" your course? Like any pedagogical strategy, "flipping" your course is grounded in education philosophy. If your philosophy is student centered and promotes self directed learning flipping your course can happen with or without the infrastructure.

High school science teacher in South Bend, IN.

Rural Flipping - Reply

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Alizabeth, that's a great point. If the infrastructure isn't there to support learning, then flipping probably isn't a good idea...we're setting kids up to fail.

In reply to the time comment, however, I just wanted to point out that many teachers flipping keep their videos to less than 10 minutes. I'm not arguing that every class should flip, that's totally up to the teacher. But, the "hours of lecture" is usually a myth when it comes to reasons not to flip.

Rural Flipping?

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The concept of flipping is a relatively new concept for me. The idea immediately sparked an interest. However, after some thought I came across the same issues you mentioned. Living in a rural area many do not have access or the financial means to support flipping. Some of my students often spend over an hour on the bus. Those involved in after school activities will often arrive home from sporting events after midnight. They do not have the time or energy to watch several hours of lecture. I can find many reasons why it doesn’t work. But as a 21st Century teacher, I agree that we need to rethink how we teach and continue to prepare our students for life in this technological era. Although flipping may not work for me at this time, the idea of looking and trying new ways of teaching is an important first step.

Educational Consultant/Author, Southern California

Flipped Classroom: Videos Great Review of Concepts

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The video component is misunderstood; it can be a great reinforcer of important concepts using another venue for the students to process the information. Even textbook manufacturers have video supplements that students often find amusing and are also available online at home.

Teachers are always the prime source of classroom success.

Adjunct Instructor at Missouri State University

Thanks For The Help!

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Carlson - in your own condescending little way - you unwittingly made the most compelling argument FOR flipping classrooms (and "unwittingly" is the best descriptor for your post). Apologies for hurt feelings.

I know of NO educator who has as a goal of "send home lectures for students to watch". Our goal is to reduce the amount of lecturing that goes on in classrooms! Lectures need to take a back seat to what you call ENGAGING with the material. Flipping your classroom opens up more time for students and teachers to do just that. I think we agree on that point.

Instead of the teacher having to repeat him/her self for students who don't grasp the concepts of the lecture the first time, the student can watch the lecture again (and again if necessary).

Teachers teach the way they were taught. Unfortunately the majority were taught through the use of lecture. We are putting new teachers in the hopeless situation of using lecture as their primary mode of presentation. They fail, their students fail, and teachers end up blaming themselves. They label themselves as "hacks" and look for a new line of work. As a result, half of all novice teachers do not make it five years in this profession.

I am in favor of showing teachers that there is another way. Flipping can be a valuable tool in the teacher's toolkit, one that can enable them to use their class time for a variety of lesson delivery methods besides lecture.

Instead of belittling this latest attempt to bring classrooms into the 21st Century, let's think of ways to refine and improve flipping techniques. If the worst case scenario happens and this initiative falls by the wayside, we can just go back to the lesson delivery methods of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle (who have been dead for 2400 years).

Here's an idea, Carlson! Instead of ripping people who are trying to help, YOU could put together a website, ebook, or educational software showing everyone YOUR incredible instructional strategies! Oh, wait....it is just easier to call people idiots and egotists....we don't have enough of those types of people, so keep up the good work!

High school math teacher from California

Carlson: A bridge?!? How cool...

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Where is it? How much do you want for it? Where can I send a check?

High school math teacher from California

Carlson: A bridge?!? How cool...

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Where is it? How much do you want for it? Where can I send a check?

NBCT, science educator

Carlson Response.....another perspective

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Quote:

It should tell you something that most of the comments posted here are from someone either hawking a blog, an e-book, some software or a website.

Actually Carlson I am neither. I am just a teacher who is trying to enhance my instructional methods with technology. I have found that assigning work at home which is focused on my learning goals is an efficient way of achieving this tasks. My lectures resources are all online so that students & parents can access them 24/7. These online resources are essential for students who need to review information, those were absent, and for those got "lost' during the class .
One valuable asset of online technology is I can monitor how much time my students spent using the resources. This data if valuable to me because I am able to make correlations between independent student and assessment results, provide timely instructional interventions, and save a ton of paper. Class time with my students involves spending more time addressing misconceptions and engaging in sense making activities. The number of authentic science investigations has tripled since moving to an blended/hybrid structure.

Considering that over 90% of the top universities and colleges now offer online courses, how can secondary teachers prepare our students for this type of learning? Can the traditional class that you describe achieve this?

One value of blended/hybrid courses is how they aid in the development of self directed learning skills. Self regulation is a challenging skill to teach and many teachers have no experience or willingness to teach this valuable life skill to their students. In an online learning environment, the student has to be able to self regulate and reflect on their ability to learn. As complex as the task may seem, blended learning promotes this form of metacognition.

Teaching and learning through technology is not for everyone. There is still a population of teachers who lecture from the front of the class, reuse lesson plans, recycle exams, and teach "curriculum." This is the same population who are not models of learning and uncomfortable with change. Teaching through technology forces you to become a learner, make mistakes, reflect, and catalyze change in your practice. Like any tool, fear and misunderstanding of the tool will prevent you from learning.

Not Flipping Out

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It should tell you something that most of the comments posted here are from someone either hawking a blog, an e-book, some software or a website. The whole concept of "Flipped Classroom" is imaginary, and just a marketing gimmick. (Apologies for hurt feelings.)

Any educator that, with a straight face, can say their goal is to "send home lectures for students to watch" is either an idiot or an egotist. We all learned in "Teaching 101" that lecture will, at best, communicate about 10% of the content into student brains. So if you're using that as a primary mode of teaching (where ever you're "flipping" it from) you're a hack and should find another line of work.

Lecturing is what College Profs do because they like to have adoring students gaze up at them. The students actually learn because of hitting the books, study groups, lab sessions, projects -- ENGAGING with the material. If you're lecturing 3rd graders, God help you. Unless you're in a Catholic school, of course.

The only reason a "Flipped Classoom" really improves outcomes is the initial excitement adds to the total time of student engagement with the material. Instead of 5 hours per week, they now spend another 1 or 2 hours a day at home. Once that falls off -- and it will -- they're missing the meat of your curriculum. Oopsie.

If anybody wants to buy a bridge, I've got a really nice one. Good condition.

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