Flipping the Classroom
Teachers from around the world have adopted the flipped classroom model and
are using it to teach a variety of courses to students of all ages. In the excerpt
below from the book, Flip Your Classroom (©2012, ISTE® International
Society for Technology in Education and ASCD), authors Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron
Sams outline reasons why educators should consider this model.
Flipping speaks the language of today’s
students. Today’s students grew up with
Internet access, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace,
and a host of other digital resources. Instruction
via video is not a big deal for [them]. When you
walk into our classrooms, you will see students
engaged in a variety of activities using different
Flipping helps busy students. Students
today are busy. Our students appreciate the
flexibility of the flipped classroom. Because
the main content is delivered via online videos,
students can choose to work ahead.
Flipping helps struggling students. When
we taught in the traditional manner, the students
who tended to get most of our attention were the
best and brightest. In the meantime, the rest of the
students would passively listen to the conversation
we had with the inquisitive students. But since
our introduction of the flipped model, our role
has changed—we spend most of our class walking
around helping the students who struggle most.
Flipping helps students of all abilities
to excel. Our special education teachers love
this model. Because all the direct instruction is
recorded, students with special needs can watch
the videos as many times as they need to learn
Flipping allows students to pause
and rewind their teacher. Even the best
presenters and lecturers have students who don’t
understand or learn all that is required. When
we flipped the classroom, we gave the students
control of the remote. Giving students the ability
to pause their teachers is truly revolutionary.
Flipping increases student–teacher
interaction. We are not advocating the
replacement of classrooms and classroom
teachers with online instruction. In fact, we
strongly believe that flipping the classroom
creates an ideal merger of online and face-toface
instruction that is becoming known as a
Flipping changes classroom
management. Under a traditional model of
teaching, we had students who consistently did
not pay attention in class. These students were
often a distraction to the rest of the class and
negatively affected everybody else’s learning.
When we flipped the classroom, we discovered
something amazing. Because we were not
just standing and talking at kids, many of the
classroom management problems evaporated.
Students who needed an audience no longer
had one. Because class time is primarily used for
students to either do hands-on activities or work
in small groups, those students who were typically
a distraction become a non-issue.
Flipping educates parents. A surprising thing
happened when we started talking to parents
during parent-teacher conferences. Many of
them told us they loved our videos. As it turns
out, many of them were watching right
alongside their children and learning
science. This leads to interesting
discussions between students and
parents about the content of our
Flipping makes your
Flipping opens the doors
to our classrooms and
allows the public in.
Our videos are posted on the
Internet, and our students’ parents
and others have free access to them.
Instead of wondering what their students are
being exposed to in the classroom, parents can
find our lessons in just a few clicks.
Flipping is a great technique for
absent teachers. We teach in a semirural
school where it is hard to obtain qualified
substitute teachers. When we first started
recording our lessons and posting the videos
online, we simply recorded our lessons live in
front of our students. It then dawned on us that
we could prerecord a lesson for our students
ahead of time when we knew we were going to
be gone. This method is being used across the
Flipping can lead to the flipped-mastery
program. We are [now] using the flippedmastery
model, in which students move through
the material at their own pace. No longer do all
students watch the same video on the same night.
Students watch and learn in an asynchronous
system where they work toward content mastery.
We should note that we did not start using the
flipped-mastery program until two years after
abandoning the traditional model. Our journey
has been a process that has occurred over several
years, and we recommend that those interested in
flipping make the change gradually.
VIDEO TIP: MAKING A ONE-TAKE VIDEO
By Michael Gorman
The One-Take Video requires a topic, written script,
narration, simple props, and a collaborative group of
students with a small camera. The video, usually under
three minutes, is done in one take. Students write a script
covering the topic and prepare props that integrate with the
script. When ready to shoot the video, the script, camera,
and props are incorporated into a video production that
begins with the record button being turned on, and ends
with the record button being turned off.
Pick a Topic
A simple One-Take Video can be the focus of an activity
for any curricular area. Decide on whether it will explain a
concept, demonstrate an idea, give a procedural overview,
or show a demonstration of learning.
Assign the Groups
In the spirit of PBL, students should be divided into
groups. Three seems to be a good number. While all
students should help facilitate all tasks, a manager for
each role will also help. These roles include script writer/
reader, prop creation and manipulator, and technical
and project manager.
The pre-production includes writing the script. It
should be creative, easy to understand, and concise. Once
it is written and all props and set are prepared, it’s time to
rehearse. No camera is needed for the rehearsal.
Students are now ready to shoot the final video. They
will need a camera and possibly a small tripod. Students will
also need their scripts, props, and set (could be just a white
background). This session should mimic the final successful
rehearsal. Any mistakes will require a complete retake.
Students should be assessed using both formative
and summative methods. In the formative category, preproduction
scripts could be the object of an assessment.
The formative can also include teacher observation and
facilitation throughout the project. Peer and individual
assessment in the formative stage can include journaling
with reflection. The final rubric should include content
application, collaboration, and communication.
A simple One-Take Video can provide students with a
powerful process to practice 21st century skill development.
Read more of Michael Gorman’s posts on techlearning.com
ANOTHER TAKE: Five Reasons I’m Not Flipping
Over The Flipped
By Lisa Nielsen
While I certainly see benefits in flipping instruction, there are also reasons to move
ahead with caution:
1 We have yet to bridge the digital divide...
Many of our students don’t have access to technology at home. The flipped
classroom method does not have strong provisions in place for these children.
2 Flipped homework is still homework.
There are a growing number of parents and educators who believe
mandatory homework needlessly robs children of their after-school time. We
believe time at home should be spent pursuing passions, connecting with friends
and family, playing and engaging in physical activity. In some families, it might
be time needed to take care of a sibling, work a job, or take care of their own
child. Let us leave children to the activities they and their family choose or find
3 More time for bad pedagogy.
Flipping instruction might end up just providing more time to do the same
type of memorization and regurgitation that just doesn’t work. When I shared
the idea of the Flipped Classroom with an administrator, she said to me with
excitement, “This is great! We’ll have more class time to prepare kids for the tests!”
4 Grouping by date of manufacture...
If we really want transformation in education, one thing we must do is stop
grouping students by date of manufacture, which the flipped classroom is ideally
suited for, but have schools put the structures in place? Are they ready to let
students move at a pace that meets their developmental readiness and come to
the realization that not everyone at the same age needs to be at the same place
at the same time? True flipping should include a careful redesign of the learning
environment, but this is often overlooked.
5 Lecturing doesn’t equal learning.
The flipped classroom is built on a traditional model of teaching and learning:
I lecture, you intake. While this method of teaching works for some learners, many
others thrive with a model that takes a more constructivist approach.
While there’s no doubt that flipping is preferable to sending kids off on their own
to make meaning of lectures, without questioning exactly how the pedagogy
works, we are doing our children a disservice.
Read more of Lisa
Nielsen’s posts at techlearning,com and The Innovative Educator.