I originally intended for this post to be about elementary age students, but I have had a very hard time finding information about a flipped elementary classroom. I found an article about flipped classrooms in general, and I think it is going to suit us best. Here we go!
Title: Inventing the flipped classroom
Author(s): Glen Bull , Bill Ferster and Willy Kjellstrom
Source: Learning & Leading with Technology. 40.1 (Aug. 2012): p10.
The article begins with a simple definiton of what a flipped classroom is: “A flipped classroom dedicates more class time to hands-on learning, replacing lectures with supplemental materials, such as screencasts and videos, that students can view outside of class.”(paragraph 1) This is a new strategy that has many teachers thinking that this would be a good switch for them. Flipped classrooms are places where kids get to “learn” or at least get a feel for what is going to be learned outside of class and then they to come to class for the practice time. In theory, it sounds pretty great, however there are some things that teachers need to be cautious about before jumping in with two feet. These are in my opinion and not stated in the article: 1-internet access, 2-computer access, 3-self-motivated learners. Some teachers may not agree with the self-motivated learners point, and that’s ok. However, Daphne Koller, a Stanford professor experimenting with the flipped classroom found that classroom attendance doubled when she used class time for group problem-solving sessions instead of lectures.”(Bull 1) I think that maybe kids would feel that class is a much better value if they were spending their time talking with their teacher and getting the help they all complain that they don’t have. I think that flipped classrooms could help kids get deeper understandings of content that they are trying to learn.
The article talks about how flipped classrooms give informtaion in much shorter chunks of time. Instead of listening to a 50 minute lecture, students would only listen to 5 to 10 mintues of video, podcast, or other medium, and then come to school to really get the concept. I think it’s a great idea for older kids!
To bring it down to where I teach, I am not sold on the flipped classroom, but very excited about the thought of blended classrooms. They aren’t mentioned in this article, but when I was searching around for flipped classroom stuff, I came acroos the idea. These are classrooms that are a little of both. Video, and technology is infused in the learning, but not completely flipped (NETS-T5b: Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, particpating in shard decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others. Blended classrooms cut down on teacher talk and give students more of a chance to explore, begin to find out things on their own, and use the teacher as a resource. I think there needs to be a happy medium here, especially in younger aged classrooms. I think this addresses NETS-T 4b: Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to apropriate digital tools and resources.
One thought from the article that I thought was really good was the idea of assessment. This part of the article is talking about using videos and online work to do most of the “teaching”, the the class time for help and practice… “Use of the medium in this way will permit instructors to conduct assessments with greater granularity. Teachers can embed questions throughout materials to determine when and where students begin to struggle, rather than waiting for an assessment at the end of a unit.”(paragraph 12) I think this ties in nicely with NETS-t 2d: Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with the content and technology standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching. I think lots of teachers struggle with assessments, and embeding them in our teaching might be a good idea! I think flipped classrooms have a huge potential, and variations of flipped classrooms even more!