Flipping the classroom is a technology-enabled technique that can make a significant difference in student learning and academic success, and is well suited for gradual widespread adoption.Having been immersed in the world of education and instructional
technologies for a good number of years now, I often think about which technologies can truly make a difference. Which technologies, or technology enabled techniques, are most likely to have a significant impact on student learning and really help teachers succeed? This question has taken on even more meaning in light of the increased controversy in recent years about ed tech spending in our schools
For those still new to the concept, “reverse instruction” is the idea of having students consume learning content (i.e. ‘the lecture’) outside of the classroom, usually as homework, thereby freeing up valuable face-to-face classroom time to reinforce materials and work on assigned work (work that may have been homework in the traditional classroom). This approach is also referred to as “flipping the classroom”.
Positioning the teacher to be available in the classroom to help with assigned work can provide for a more personalized learning experience. There are many other benefits to this model, some of which are listed below (click hereto access a number of articles from teachers describing their experiences working with a flipped classroom model).
The Flipped Classroom is still in the early stages of adoption, but high profile advocates like Sal Khan are helping this instructional technology concept gain momentum. Khan’s work with the Khan Academy has been a major catalyst in bringing this concept to the attention of the media and to the general population (learn more about the Khan Academy here).
Reasons why reverse instruction is a powerful instructional technology concept, worthy of adoption by schools and teachers everywhere.
Here’s a list of reasons why the flipped classroom is a great idea that needs to be embraced and encouraged by teachers, administrators, parents, and students in middle grades and higher.
- It is simple and inexpensive to get started with (learn how here).
- Many instructors are already doing this to some extent (when they provide reading or video homework, for example).
- Instructors can ease into this at their own pace, and choose their approach. Tech-savvy teachers can easily get started creating their own content with free Internet tools, and those who are less tech-friendly can leverage the extensive body of learning content that is already available.
- Student can review ‘flipped’ course materials repeatedly outside of the classroom, at their own convenience, often on the device of their choosing (smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc).
- Students who miss class because of other responsibilities or illness do not have to be ‘penalized’ by missing course content.
- There are tens of thousands of educational videos that can be used as flipped classroom content available for free right now (see this post to learn about seven such resources).
- There are also countless other education content resources available on the Internet such as the growing body of Open Education Resources and the ever-expanding body of articles other written content on the web.
- Using a ‘flipped textbook’ can provide a far more efficient and effective learning experience than the traditional textbook (check out the work ofKieran Mathieson and ‘Coredogs’ to learn more).
- It provides an excellent opportunity to select and leverage top-notch lecturers and other high quality learning materials.
- Reverse Instruction provides a great situation in which to take advantage of a wide variety of powerful instructional technologies, including screencasting, lecture capture, podcasting, presentation tools, learning and course management systems, open educational resources, and more.
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