Flipped Classrooms 101

Switching learning from the classroom to the living room!

By: Lacie Donaldson

My Reflection ...

The webinar I viewed was "Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day". This webinar was presented by Aaron Sams and John Bergmann, who were both former educators. The idea of a flipped classroom came from real teachers, which is a very important piece of information.

Sams and Bergmann explained the idea of a flipped classroom, which is basically when the direct instruction is completed at home and the "homework", or application of instruction, is completed in the classroom. The direct instruction is switched from the classroom to the home via videos. They explained that there are different models of the flipped classroom, and these models depend upon who is using the technique. Some teachers may choose to use this technique with every lesson, while others only use flipped classroom for certain subject areas or lessons. They also answered questions about those students who do not have internet access at home, or even computer access. Sams and Bergmann discussed some of the myths and misconceptions about flipped classrooms. They clarified that this technique does not fully rely on videos and homework, it doesn't promote a divide between students in relation to technology, and it doesn't lead to bad teaching.

This webinar was very informational considering I had never heard of flipped classrooms. Sams and Bergmann presented the content in a way that was very easily followed and understood. By giving an explanation of what a flipped classroom is NOT, I could get a better understanding of what it IS. The images in the webinar tied into the content very well, although I feel I would have enjoyed it better if it was a video of Sams and Bergmann speaking. Although the video was an hour long, the information was organized in a way where my attention was focused the entire time. Overall, I really enjoyed this webinar. I am very interested in looking more into this topic.

My Take-Aways ...

1. Flipped classrooms are a way to bring traditional, direct instruction into the video age. Students are so intrigued with videos and technology, why not use this as a resource for teaching? The use of videos is a way to make room for the so called "fun stuff" teachers rarely have time for in class. This fun stuff may include experiments, group activities, projects, or even one-on-one instruction with students who need extra help. Using flipped classroom is a great teaching technique that brings instruction into 21st century learning.

2. One method of flipped classroom is the Explore-Flip-Apply method. This would be a great method to use in a science classroom, or any subject area that lends itself to students experimenting and exploring the content being learned. The first step of this method allows students to participate in activities that promote experimentation, exploration, and observation of what is being learned. After students have had a chance to manipulate the content, the teacher flips the instruction of the content to a short video to be watched at home. This not only helps students review what they experienced in class, but it also helps to clarify any confusion a student may have had in class. The last step of this method is for students to apply this new knowledge to a new situation or even an assessment the next day in class.

3. What about those students who do not have access to the technology needed to watch the videos at home? There are several other options to viewing the videos, rather than using the internet. Students who do not have internet access at home, but do have a computer can watch the video from a flash-drive or disk provided by the teacher. Students who do not have a computer at home may watch the videos on a DVD prepared and provided by the teacher. If students do not have any of the technology at home, they may be allowed to view the content sometime during the school day. The lack of technology is no excuse for not trying out a flipped classroom.

4. The use of flipped classrooms takes the responsibility of learning off of the teacher, and puts it back on the students. The student is required to take the content provided by the teacher and use their skills to learn it. This gives an opportunity for students to learn with their own learning style and ability.

Additional Resources:

The Flipped Learning Network

This is an amazing website full of information on how to flip your classroom. It was created by Aaron Sams and John Bergmann. This website contains research, videos, webinars, blogs, and podcasts about flipped classroom. It even contains a link to the book, Flip Your Classroom, which was written by Sams and Bergmann. The Flipped Learning Network includes a Flipclass Chat, which allows teachers to collaborate with each other on how to flip their classrooms. It also includes a calendar and information on all of the flipped classroom conferences and workshops that are available to educators. It is a great resource with tons of information in one place!

The Flipped Classroom

Flipped Classroom video

This is a short informational video that introduces what a flipped classroom is. Aaron Sams narrates the video and gives an insight on to how he flipped his classroom. He also includes a quick example of one of his videos used in a lesson. He explains how flipping his classroom has turned his way of teaching from traditional to more interactive. Anyone who is not sure about flipped classrooms, should watch this short clip because it will leave you wanting to know more!

Tweet to Jon Bergmann

This is the official Twitter page of Jon Bergmann. Followers of Bergmann will receive continuous updates about flipping classrooms. He also responds to any tweets sent to him, so this would be a great resource for quick questions for those new to flipped classrooms. This page also gives great insight onto how other educators around the world are using flipped classrooms!