Blended Learning

5-Minute Film Festival: Flipped Classrooms

July 13, 2012

I really enjoyed Mary Beth Hertz's excellent blog published earlier this week, "The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con" -- one of the most concise and balanced views I've read on the buzz-wordy concept of flipping the classroom. Advocates say that "flipped classrooms" help overburdened teachers differentiate their instruction to reach more learners, provide an avenue into more hands-on and student-driven learning during classtime, and shift the teacher's role from "sage on the stage" to learning coach and facilitator. Critics say it's just a fad, relies too heavily on rote instruction, and doesn't go far enough in making the needed changes for teaching and learning reform. I've rounded up this list of videos so you can learn more about the challenges and benefits of flipped classrooms.

Flipping the Classroom

Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.

  1. Flipped Classrooms and Video as Homework (02:15)

    Flipped-class pioneer Aaron Sams describes how his way of teaching has evolved in this piece, which is probably the most widely-seen video introducing the flipped-class concept. It's sponsored by a tech company, so there *is* a shameless plug at the very end.

  2. Flipping the Classroom - Simply Speaking (03:24)

    I'm a big fan of these Simply Speaking explainer videos from Penn State's "Teaching and Learning with Technology" group. This one lays a straightforward road map for how to flip a class, with suggestions for activities you can use class time for once you've flipped.

  3. Reflections on the Flipped Classroom (06:54)

    Refreshingly candid reflections from ed tech star and high school biology teacher Paul Anderson about the challenges he dealt with during his last few years of trying out the flipped-classroom model. He talks about equity and access issues, oversimplification of the concept, and the dangers of thinking that flipping is a silver bullet for "fixing" education.

  4. Taking a Risk on At-Risk Kids (03:26)

    Compelling portrait of principal Greg Green and Clintondale High School, a Michigan school that flipped every single class on campus and has seen powerful results in their test scores and discipline rates. Also, watch a CNN news report and read a Q&A with Greg. Sponsored by the same tech company as the one above, watch for the product plug!

  5. Flipped High School -- The Students' Perspective (02:26)

    Curious how the students at the much-talked-about Clintondale High feel about the flipped model? Here, four students riff about how the flip has changed their school and learning experience.

  6. Video Lectures - Flipping the Classroom (03:05)

    In this nicely done graphic video, a professor from Australia explains why he flipped his classes -- to engage students and deliver academic content in new ways. He does a great job of explaining the benefits of this method in a clear and visually understandable way.

  7. EVSC Introduction to the Flipped Classroom (06:13)

    High school science teacher Brian Bennett dispels some of the common myths about flipped classrooms. Brian also moderates the Twitter #flipclass chat on Monday nights.

  8. Katie Gimbar's Flipped Classroom - Why It Has To Be Me! (03:30)

    This middle school math teacher has created a whole series of FAQ videos about flipped class implementation, in collaboration with the FIZZ program at NCSU College of Ed. In this one, she explains why she creates her own video lectures rather than relying on Khan or other outsourced material. Also check out a quirky TEDX from Katie and Dr. Lodge McCammon, the originator of the FIZZ teaching method.

  9. Flipped Classroom Introduction (01:12)

    This is a nice example of a teacher-made video one educator produced to explain to his incoming students how the flipped-class concept will work in his own classroom. Includes links at the end to a few of the teacher's video lectures.

  10. Future Learning: Sal Khan (02:16)

    Whether you like his work or not, no discussion of flipped classrooms is complete without Sal Khan, the charismatic founder of the epically popular Khan Academy, which provides content lecture videos. In this piece by GOOD, he talks about the new world of student engagement this model can create.

  11. Flipped Classroom -- What Is It? (07:21)

    Three earnest high school teachers from Ohio explain on-camera for their curious parents and students what a flipped classroom is, before embarking on a year of trying flipping. One of the teachers had successfully piloted flipping the previous year, and it's nice to hear straight from the source what the flipped experience was like.

  12. The Flipped Classroom is Born (01:48)

    Watch a local news story from 2007 on Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann, two Colorado high school teachers who are widely credited as the originators of the phrase "flipped classroom." Visit their YouTube Channel Learning4Mastery, where you can find hundreds of videos on the topic.

More Flipped Class Resources

Of course, there are thousands more videos on the subject. The conclusion I came to after watching lots and lots of them was the same as Mary Beth's -- the idea of the "flipped class" can be a useful tool to have in your teaching tool belt, but it's not a panacea. And, despite the current frenzy over the idea, it isn't really a new one -- just one we've strayed from as pressures mount around high-stakes testing. If thinking about "flipping" has made you one of the many teachers who is reflecting on your practice and thinking about moving your classrooms towards student-driven learning, here are some more resources for joining the conversation.

Flipping the Classroom Guides and PD
Articles and Press on Flipping the Classroom

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