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5th grade teacher from Issaquah, WA

Flipped classrooms can be a great tool, when used well

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I'm a fifth grade teacher who is pondering implementing the concept of a flipped classroom in some aspects of my classroom, and am getting more and more excited about the possibilities of using this delivery model, particularly in math. My school district's math curriculum uses a variety of unique algorithms for addition, subtraction, and multiplication, and these algorithms can be very difficult to teach, especially because parents can't help their students do the homework because they have never seen these methods. I am considering making short videos where I model how to solve problems with these unique algorithms and assigning students to watch them with their parents. This is a very small example of a flipped classroom, but I think it is one example where a "flipped" model could be very effective.

My mani concern whenever I use technology is to make sure that I am using it as a tool, not a toy. It is so tempting to use the various pieces of technology available as something "flashy" to capture student attention, but I have found that students are far more captivated in the long run by genuine learning about things they are passionate about. I generally find that students can see through me any time I try to use technology just for the sake of having something flashy.

Another modification to a flipped classroom that I have seen is posting the videos online after a lesson, so that students who need review at home can just watch the video again, or to help review for a test. I have tried this in my classroom and have heard very positive comments about how students are taking increased responsibility for their own learning.

I am excited for the future of flipped classrooms, but I absolutely agree that they need to center on solid instruction and pedagogy, or else they run the risk of being just another fad that takes attention away from the true learning we are attempting to guide students through.

I train educators to use a coaching approach in their teaching practice

What's the question?

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Coaching teacher teams, I often find myself in the middle of heated discussions about "Method A vs Method B". It's natural that caring and ambitious teachers have strong opinions about the methods they want to use, and it's natural that there shall be a difference of opinions, and that those opinions shall change over time.

When called upon to guide teachers in the discussion about "A vs B" I have found that asking a few overarching questions really helps a lot better than telling them my opinion.

I ask:

What are we working together to create here?
What does the final result look like when it's working perfectly?

What is our current perceived reality?
What do we include in what we are able to influence?

What are the advantages of "A"?
Make a list

What are the advantages of "B"?
Make a list

Which seems to offer the most?
Compare the lists

Usually the first two questions reveal that there are greater differences in perceptions about what the teachers are aiming to create in their school and community; and their perceptions of what's possible to influence.

The "Method A vs Method B" discussion is an invitation to go to a deeper place, where mutual understanding may happen. Resolving the "A vs B" discussion without going to this deeper place may result in another heated "A vs B" discussion sooner rather than later.

Edu-Tech Innovator and Founder of the World Wide Workshop

Re: I am a mother of 4 and a college student

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Dear Jessica,

You're right – although many new instructional technologies have been introduced in the past decade, it's the actual teaching strategies and the learning philosophy we apply that make the difference for students at all levels. Keep learning and exploring!

I am a mother of 4 and a college student learning teacher education.

The topic of flipped

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The topic of flipped classrooms just came up in my Instructional Technology class. Ms. Faith introduced the subject and we have been going over the positive and negatives of the subject. Your article interested me and was engaging in that you did not argu the point of what the teacher does in a flipped classroom but rather what our nation has to understand in order to have a successful flipped classroom. I had not thought about the market, a $54 billion market!, and how it is highly competitive with companies who produce alternatives to text books. But you mentioned that these alternatives are the same instructional videos used for the past 50 years. Thank you for your insight. Technology in the classroom is a whole new world to me now that I am back in college having graduated in 2004 with my first degree; and even in 8 years the technology that is prevalent in our educational system is above my head! Thank you for your insightful article! Very educational.

What flipped classrooms are supposed to be for

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It is certainly true that technology cannot replace applied or experiential learning, but simple class lectures cannot provide that experiential element either. The real purpose of a flipped classroom is to give content lecture outside of class so that in class you can do some experiential work based on a common basis of knowledge. Normally in class you get the content and then outside of class you "apply" it in homework assignments that only touch the surface of what you need to do to fully learn the material. So flipping it allows you to spend more time in class making sure students understand and can apply the knowledge.

That's the real concept, not having students learn from an updated version of classes on TV. The exciting part is not the content lecture bit outside of class (electronic, digital or otherwise) but what you are able to do in class with applied learning because you don't have to give the basic content. Indeed this is not an argument for replacing teachers with canned lectures, it is freeing up teachers to do what they do best by having someone else give the canned lecture/tutorial.

Building Confidence in Students, One Child at a Time

Education is now no longer

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Education is now no longer limited to classrooms. Technology make it to the student rooms and palm. Student now love to study online. This also helps them to discuss the things with their online friends. This make learning more easy and fast. But still classroom studies have their importance which I think online study can never replace.

http://www.1to1tutor.org/

Flipped classrooms

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I believe our challenge as teachers is to ensure that all students are mastering the standards. At the end of the day, how we make sure this happens is what makes us all unique and inventive educators. Using a flipped classroom model is one way to educate a child, but not the only way. In no way, however, is a flipped classroom intended to "replace" a teacher. It is simply a way to give a teacher a way to stretch precious classroom time and make the most of time they have with students by preteaching concepts.

Edu-Tech Innovator and Founder of the World Wide Workshop

Thanks for your link!

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Thanks for your link!

Edu-Tech Innovator and Founder of the World Wide Workshop

I agree 100%. Technology

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I agree 100%. Technology cannot teach much on its own—it's up to educators and learners to use it tools to spark deep learning, connection to knowledge, experts, and create engagement. It’s our responsibility (education entrepreneurs and teachers) to provide equal opportunities for all students everywhere, no matter what their zipcode is, for high-quality blended learning that is engaging and relevant.

Edu-Tech Innovator and Founder of the World Wide Workshop

Thanks for your feedback!

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Thanks for your feedback! It's truly disheartening to see students—who enter school ready to learn and grow—adapt to uninspired teaching methods like those you describe. And it's exciting to see that there ARE educators and schools who are trying out something different and helping students become the drivers of their own learning. I also think we need to ask ourselves whether we, as innovators, educators, school leaders and community members, are providing the professional development support that these teachers need to take on a flipped approach. It's certainly been key to the blended approach we're taking with Globaloria.

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