Flipping the Classroom

I just recently listened to a podcast from the series “The Flip Side with Jon Bergmann” called “Why Flipping the Classroom Makes it More Enjoyable For You and Your Students” with Dominique Geocaris.  Dominque discusses using the flipped classroom with advanced learners because they are more invested in their learning and can learn better on their own. This gives the students the opportunity to ask questions and do practice problems (which are sometimes the hardest part) in class instead of on their own at home without the help of their peers or their teachers.  This also works really well for teachers because they only have to flip the classroom once and then they can use those videos for as long as they want, and the students can re-watch the lectures as many times as they want if they have questions at home.

I think that flipping a classroom is a good idea, but I don’t know how I feel about flipping the classroom for every lesson. My brother’s calculus teacher flipped the classroom for his class and he HATED it. He said that she just sat at her desk all day and didn’t help them with anything, instead referred the students with questions back to the original video she had assigned for homework.  While I recognize that not every flipped classroom will end up like that, I feel that flipped classrooms do have a tendency to attract laid back teachers who want to skate by with a minimum amount of work. All they have to do is film themselves teaching one time and then forever after that they can just show the video to the students and have them learn from that. This is why I think the base lesson of a unit should be taught in person, or the harder stuff of the unit that requires the teacher to know that students are comprehending the lesson as they go along instead of letting them learn it on their own. When building on the knowledge that the teacher thinks everyone in the classroom has and is comfortable with, that is the perfect time for using a flipped classroom. It also helps to promote good relationships between peers, if you are letting them work on things together during class to work out problems together.

Overall, I think flipped learning is a great idea (if you use it correctly, as most things are). I would also definitely use podcasts for professional development because I was able to download this podcast and listen to it while on the elliptical, and I didn’t have to go to a conference or a workshop, but I was still able to get the same information as if I did go. I think that if iTunes fixes their Podcasts app (which shut down every time I tried to open it on my phone) there are a lot of great podcasts that I would like to try to listen to while working out or sitting in the office.


2 thoughts on “Flipping the Classroom

  1. Great post, Samantha. It was nice to hear a real-life criticism of the flipped classroom, it’s a good “how not to do it” for the rest of us. Unfortunately it sounds as if that teacher perhaps was using technology for technology’s sake instead of thinking about what might be best for her students. Unfortunately, I think one of the biggest drawbacks is that he more assertive kids will get the most help. While that occurs now in many classrooms, it is a problem that may be exacerbated because teachers may not be able to read their students reactions during active learning time. That is where the connection to the classroom component of your flipped lesson becomes so important.

  2. I am sad to hear about your bothers experience with the flipped classroom. I have heard similar stories of the flipped model being used this way. If done right, teachers are spending more time creating project based lessons they did not have time for in the past. The shift from “sage on the stage” to coach is not an easy one. It is easy to lecture, not easy to plan interactive engaging lessons. I wonder what your brothers teacher’s goal was for flipping? It hopefully was not about less work:( thanks for sharing your brothers experiences and indicating that this is not the norm.

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