In the educational world, flipped learning takes aspects of a traditional classroom and transfers them into the computer that students can access from home. Teachers can take a specific slideshow about a certain lecture, record their voices, and go through the slideshow and lecture as if their students are present. Students are able to learn about a particular topic from the security of their home, digest the knowledge, and be ready to apply their knowledge and comprehensions to more hands-on activities in the classroom. A flipped lesson can also be used as a formative assessment tool when students are asked to watch a short video about the material they had just learned. For example: if a teacher completed a lesson about President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal policies, the educator can have students watch a video pertaining to those policies and have students answer some clarifying questions along the way. EdPuzzle and Zaption are two platforms where teachers can use videos to easily add their own audio notes in certain places and stop the video in certain spots to have students answer questions that can deepen their understanding.
Having a few flipped lessons scattered throughout academic curriculum in the classroom gives teachers an additional tool they can harness when teaching students. It can be effective if there is a specific unit of study that is quite dense with material. This is especially the case with history classes, because there are quite a few periods in any country or region’s history that can take 2-3 weeks to fully teach students. Having a flipped lesson or flipped formative assessment allows educators to instead of talking about a specific topic, they can have students effectively teach themselves before class (thus fulfilling some aspects of Common Core). Teachers can then give students additional time to work on more application activities and projects in order to keep them engaged in the material.
In terms of educational technology: a flipped lesson is just another invaluable tool that is available in an ever expanding technology rich society. Students are exposed to a new technology tool that they could potentially use in a future school project for another class. They can even use a flipped lesson to explain how to accomplish a certain task in a school organization, in the community, and even at home. Adolescents want to learn more about technology and seek to incorporate technology into their lives. Teaching students how to use a flipped lesson can give students additional skills they can harness.
There isn’t anything majorly controversial about flipped learning, because the academic benefits outweigh any negative aspects of it. Students can work at their own pace with the flipped lesson; they can write down as many notes as they want without having to rush; and they have an opportunity to learn material outside of a four-walled classroom. The primary challenge to flipped learning is that not every student has easy access to a laptop, computer, tablet, or any other device for them to access the flipped lesson. Many socio-economically deprived students do not have access to technology suitable for a flipped lesson – this issue is more prevalent in urban schools. Teachers who want to use a flipped lesson once in awhile need to consider setting aside a class period for the entire class, regardless of socioeconomic standing, to have the chance to use the computer lab on campus to complete the flipped lesson.
John Bergmann was one of the first educators to push for public schools to flip more lessons to deepen student learning and questioning. Bergmann discovered that before he flipped any of his lessons he only had one opportunity to ask deep, qualifying questions to his students to see if they comprehended what they learned. With flipped lessons, Bergann realized he had more moments in the classroom where he could check student understanding multiple times to decipher their thinking. In other words: his questioning strategies improved when he flipped more of his lessons to his students. You can follow John Bergmann’s blog to read more of his flipped teaching strategies and opinions at:
Mary Beth Hertz also writes in her blog that the major benefits and reasons for flipped lessons in classrooms include how they force teachers to constantly reflect upon their teaching. She mentions how flipped learning is an instructional tool that could potentially be a good reflection of John Dewey’s vision of changing the fabric of how academia is taught to students. Flipped learning is a different educational tool that pushes teachers into an academic realm that has the potential to vastly improve the quality of work, application, comprehension, and appreciation of subject matter from students. You can follow Hertz’s blog at:
Finally, if you want to see what technology tools are out there to create effective flipped lessons, Richard Bryne posted on his blog 12 tools teachers can use to flip their lessons, including EdPuzzle: