Educational Technology Review – Flipped Classroom

What is “Flipped Classroom”?

“The flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching methods, delivering instruction online outside of class, and moving ‘homework’ into the classroom” (Knewton.com).  Essentially the flipped classroom model gives students a chance to learn course material at home at their own pace and frees up class time for students participate in activities that will enhance the student’s understanding of the material.   Students are free to learn through teacher-led activities in the classroom instead of subjected to lectures that often do not allow for comment or discussion.  Educational technology is essential for the flipped classroom to work as teachers must record their lectures and put them online and students must have the technical ability to watch these lectures and post on discussion boards at home.  There are many different platforms and programs teachers can use to implement the flipped classroom model.  Some of these include Google and EdMoto.

Positives:

The flipped classroom model is great for students who can sit down after school or when they’re finally home from their various extra-curricular activities because it does not require a student to tune in at a specific time for their lecture.  They can watch the lecture at their own pace and re-watch if they missed a concept.  The online forum component of the flipped classroom model allows for students to dialogue about the lecture material outside of the classroom essentially forming an online study group.  Class time is now freed up for enrichment activities that will improve student understanding of the lecture material and/or present it in a different way.  The flipped classroom model is also very useful for students when they miss class as they do not miss any lectures and can ask questions on the online forum or in class if they do not understand part of the lecture.

Negatives:

The flipped classroom model may not work for all students.  What does the teacher do about the student who refuses to or does not have the time or technology to watch the lecture at home?  A chief complaint of students and parents today is that students have too much homework.  Students may not have physical homework that they are taking home, but they will still have the task of watching the lecture.  Some students are not motivated outside of class to watch the lectures.  Also, teachers must have activities planned which engage students in the classroom to the content they are learning about at home in the lectures.  This can sometimes be difficult with every lesson.  Some lessons need to be taught via direct instruction so students can ask questions.  For this reason, I believe the flipped classroom model is a good idea, but must be well planned and/or used in conjunction with other traditional teaching models.

For more information: http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/

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