Every Wednesday during the school year our district participates in “Late Start Wednesdays”. This gives the district, and each individual school, a chance to discuss the current happenings, review testing data, or learn a new tool. This past Wednesday we had a colleague (Kathy) present to us all the new tools and gadgets she learned about at a recent eTech conference. While she mentioned several fun and innovative tools to use in the classroom, she also mentioned the idea of “flipping your classroom”. When I first saw this projected on the board, I thought to myself, oh, she must mean when you only use technology in the classroom and get rid of paper and pencils. I was excited to hear what she had to say because my recent Walden University class had mentioned this theory, and I am interested in working on this in the future. However, my assumptions were a little off.
What our colleague explained to us is that by flipping your classroom, you flip your instruction and homework. Kathy gave us the example of when the student is in the classroom, and the teacher is going over how to do a problem, the student thinks he understands it. But once he gets home to do the assigned homework, he all of the sudden has no idea how to do it anymore. By flipping your classroom, you assign your instruction (reading a chapter, reviewing a formula) to be done at home. Kathy even suggested assigning this work on a classroom Moodle (I’m still a little new to this web tool). The students can access the chapter needed to complete the instruction, then take that knowledge into the classroom the next day. Since the instruction was completed at home, the time spent in class is used to actually apply the new material. Rather than struggling to complete the assignment at home with no support, the students now apply their learning to the work done in the classroom. I think this concept could make the learning much more meaningful and certainly less stressfull to students and teachers alike.
My only questions is, if I can’t get a student to do homework now, then how do I assign instruction to be done at home? If my students don’t buy into the flipping, then the classroom remains like it was before. I’d love to hear suggestions on how to make this more of a reality.
I realize this isn’t necessarily a technology-that-guides-learning type of post, but it is an innovative way to structure a classroom. Plus, technology tools can definitely be incorporated to make it more technology-friendly.
I already mentioned using Moodle to assign work, but can you think of other tools that could make this classroom flipping more realistic?
(I thought the post needed more color. Thanks, Google Images!)