The Flipped Classroom-week 8

This week, I chose to study the flipped classroom.  I am focusing on k-5, but this article talks about the flipped classroom in general… I’ll make connections to k-5 as we go along.

Title: To flip or not to flip?
Source: Learning & Leading with Technology. 39.8 (June-July 2012): p6.
Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2012 International Society for Technology in Education
I chose to look at the flipped classroom because as an elementary teacher, it’s not talked about much.  This seems like a method of teaching that high school level and above would use, but these authors say that it is used at all ages. A flipped classroom is one where the students get an introductory lesson of some sort at home (or some place other than their classroom), and then get practice time at school.  I have had some college classes like this.  You have to have had done your previous work, or at least attempt, to have an idea of what class is going to be about.  I think this is hard to do in certain types of schools (I will talk about later) but other schools I think it would work great.  You really have to know your status of students and know about their lives before you can even attempt to completely flip a classroom.  The huge benefit is that the kids get the time that they really need with their teacher!  We all know that we have gotten home before and then had questions about how to do your homework.  In a flipped classroom, your homework time is when you are with your teacher.  I think it’s an interesting idea, but I think it is asking quite a bit of students.  It’s hard enough to get them there on time, but have them do it on their own at first (watch a video or read something) that it may be a struggle.  Maybe I would be wrong, I’m just not completely sold on it yet.
The article does talk about some downfalls of a flipped classroom, all of which I agree with.  The authors talk about how you have to have internet access to students at home for this to work.  In a flipped classroom, you use the internet to do the primary part of the lesson, then practice time is in the classroom.  This would be great for driven, self-motivated students.  These students not only have to have internet access, but they also have to have a device to use the internet on.  If there was a way to get all students equipt with all the things they needed, I think this would be a great idea.
When I think about the flipped classroom in an elementary school, I think of a classroom where the teacher doesn’t talk all the time!  There would be time for kids to work through things and figure them out for themselves.  The teachers would be there to facilitate and lead kids in the right direction, but there needs to be some time for kids to just work it out.  I think this is especially true for upper elementary students.  I think elementary education is headed in this direction, and that excites me!
When I think about a flipped classroom, I think a few NETS standards are addressed.  The first of these standards being NETS-T 5c: Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources to support student learning.  The whole focus of a flipped classroom is on the student learning.  If you are not researching, and using judgement on what are the best types of tools for your students to be using during these learning times, you are not doing your job! I also think that NETS-T 1a is addressed: Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.  Kids need the opportunity to do things themselves and take learning into their own hands.  With the flipped classroom, this is all possible!  Other standards can be connected, i just think that these two are the most applicable.
Flipped classrooms are an interesting idea that I feel like have many barriers and hurdles to jump over.  I’m am anxious to find out more about them next week.

2 thoughts on “The Flipped Classroom-week 8

  1. I have never had this experience as a student and I’ve never used it in my classroom intentionally. I think you’re right when you mention that a “flipped classroom” would fit well with self-motivated leaners and maybe even older learners. I also agree with you that technology has to be attainable for the learner if this type of learning is to be successful. I will say that many types of activities are versions of a “flipped classroom” and possess the same element of student empowerment. For instance, before a class meeting about particular problems or issues the students might be assigned to discuss the issues with their parents or family members before they discuss them in school to gain insight into understanding the problem. This might help to contextualize the problem for students who are not actually experiencing the classroom issue and may need help empathizing with their classmates when they discuss it in class. I imagine, however, if the assignment involved more computer based use the student might encounter more issues. Teachers would have to be clear in their expectations of the assignment and product or very flexible in their evaluation of it. Undoubtedly there are many things to work out about flipped classrooms and I look forward to reading more about in your next post.

  2. I agree that the flipped classroom would be primarily beneficial to self-motivated students. I already have some students who are not motivated enough to use their class time to start their assignments, and I worry about what would happen if I “flipped” my classroom and expected them to learn the content at home. Would I be able to count on them to study the material at home first, or would I still end up teaching the same thing in class, just on an individual basis? They might surprise me, but I’m not quite sold on the flipped classroom either.
    I also agree that it is important to consider the reality of the resources available to our students. Even though we seem to see digital technology everywhere, all of us still have students who do not have reliable internet access.

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