Flipped Classroom

Going from Flopping to Flipping

June 3, 2015         Updated June 2, 2015

Students Working Together
5:44 PM. I was messing with the screen cast software to create a video lesson on incorporating evidence in a research paper. First, the program required an update--20 minutes. Then, preparing to record, I realized that I needed a webcam--10 minutes. Once again ready to record, I discovered there was no microphone--30 minutes. With all hardware and software finally in place, I rehearsed the screen cast--15 minutes--and recorded the video--5 minutes. I uploaded the video--5 minutes--but it failed to upload 3 times--10 more minutes. I found the "tech guy" to grant me permission to access youtube--30 minutes. The video successfully uploads on my LMS site--excellent!

...I just needed to then repeat the process for each lecture in my unit. I wanted a flipped classroom, but I didn't expect the amount of time it would take to make it happen. 

People often dismiss what they haven't tried. They might see someone like me, trying something new, failing at it, and assume it is not worth doing. My colleague asked me a question: "Why waste time making the video? Isn't it easier to do it in class?" This is what I had to say: I may take two hours learning how to set up my space and use the program that will allow me to flip the classroom, but I will gain more time in each class answering student questions.

After I posted the video, I tracked 55 more hits than I expected. This means to me that I provided a resource that students rewind and replay. That is like 55 individual conferences that freed me up to sit with the kids who really need it.    

As expected, things went smoother for the second recording. Soon after, I got to a point where it only required a few clicks and a couple of minutes of preparation to record. By the end of that week, I had all of my research unit lessons recorded and uploaded.

I reflect on the fact that the videos I made are knowledge and skill based and therefore transferrable from year to year and level to level. Ultimately, I would prefer to give my students more time to work on the work while in class, and blended learning provides me with that option. Whatever effort is necessary from me to flop before I flip, it's worth it. 

This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. Due to audience interest, we've preserved it. The opinions expressed here are the writer's own.