Thursday, December 12, 2013

Flipped Classrooms

Are flipped classrooms the wave of the future for education? Are you doing a flipped classroom?

What are flipped classrooms?

Flipped classrooms flip the traditional day of school to make teaching done at home and homework done at school.

How does a flipped classroom work?

A teacher creates videos, lessons, or other teaching aids online and students watch these at home or anywhere there is a computer with internet. Then at school, the teacher assigns problems and helps students complete them in class.

What is the reasoning behind a flipped classroom?

Teachers better serve the students by being there when they are completing problems or tasks. No person should be as good as the teacher for this purpose. So why not have the help from the teacher available? There is more interaction between student and teacher. Teachers can give one on one help frequently. A teacher's time is better used for guiding and directing students through tasks rather than just tossing information at them.

Students can also view lessons over and over. They can fast forward or rewind to a certain point in a lesson that they need to see or hear again. You can't do that with a traditional classroom.

Are there problems with flipped classrooms?

A school or teacher may not be fully sold on the idea. Old traditions are hard to break. However, as the internet takes on a more significant role, the idea will become more palatable and looked upon as normal.

Not all students will have a way of viewing videos and lessons online. Schools must ensure that all students have sufficient time in the computer lab if they have the need. Smartphones and tablets are becoming popular. Many students already own one. They are used to viewing things online using things like youtube.

Teachers will of course need to create the lessons. This may seem like a time consuming task. Keep in mind that once it's created, it won't need to be done again, saving time in the future. It also means that a teacher could redo the lessons and tweak them if needed.

Parents might not understand why students have no homework. Well, you don't need to give ahomework just to give homework. And homework is not really gone, it now involves viewing a lesson as opposed to doing problems. Parents might be more happy with this arrangement, as their child will not have to ask them for help. Many parents feel uncomfortable now if they can actually help a student with a particular subject.

Any last thoughts on flipped classrooms?

We do more and more things online as the internet expands even more. We are learning how to do things now on youtube. Taking classes online is expanding the education experience. Your child's teacher is the best tutor. Why not utilize them in this respect, and get one on one help?

Keep in mind that having a flipped classroom does not restrict the teacher from doing lessons in class if he or she needs to go over something.

>> Check out: How teachers should be assigning homework.