Educational Technology Review

Educational Technology Review – Flipped Classroom

By: Rajnesh Naicker

            This is about changing the instructional model so that students can receive more instructional support in the classroom from their teachers. The availability of online videos and increasing access to technology has paved the way for the flipped classroom model. In a flipped classroom, students watch short video lectures at home. The class time is devoted to solving problems, discussions, debates, interactions, collaboration, labs and projects. The teachers are coaches or advisors, encouraging students in individual inquiry and collaborative effort. Collaborative projects can encourage social interaction among students making it easy for them to learn from each other.

            Good teaching can come in many forms. With so many different tablets and gadgets, the ability to record videos, assign videos from utube, vimeo and the Khan Academy can help teachers use this instructional strategy. The use of videos puts the lectures under the control of students. They can watch, rewind, fast-forward as needed. Teachers can also ask students to summarize the video and give them some questions as a follow up and to ensure they actually watch the videos.I use this model once or two times a week. Flipped teaching technology is a tool for flexible communication that allows educators to differentiate instruction to meet individual student needs and spend more time in the classroom collaborating and interacting. As educators we should strive to be facilitators, mentors and guides for our students. Any teaching model that amplifies this role is step in the right direction. Anything that gives teachers more face time with the students is a good thing.

            Using flipped teaching in the classroom is a great opportunity to engage our students in taking more responsibility of their own learning. There is a distinct shift in priorities – from merely covering materials to working toward mastery of it. While flipping your classroom is a good teaching, I also think good teaching cannot be reduced to one technique; therefore I don’t think this tool is worth the hype. The real issue for this tool is the inequity of resources. If students do not have the means to access these online videos at home, they will not be able to learn the skill. Therefore watching videos should not be seen as a viable substitute for good learning. There are different ways we can flip the classroom. It’s about technology as well the pedagogy. There are so any misconceptions and misunderstandings about flipping. We should also be using drawings, cartoon strips, texts plus the videos. Flipping has great potential and rightful place in education. It’s really about who owns the learning.

            Using a variety of teaching strategies is the best approach. When students own their learning, then deep, authentic and transformative things happen in the classroom. As a Science teacher, the best form of flip for me would be inquiry and project base based learning. I believe this would incredibly powerful.

 

 

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