The Flipped Classroom: A Student-Centered Learning Environment

I was quite surprised that a few teachers in my school suggested Flipped Learning as a topic of interest for an in-service.

Maybe my Big Ideas about the fruition and use of technology in my school might happen. I would love to co-teach in a flipped classroom.

Retrieved from http://www.iclevedon.co.uk/category/flipped-learning/

After reading articles/blogs and listening to interviews by teachers who have flipped their classrooms, I found out that there are many ways that teacher-recorded videos can be made. Watch!

Flipping a classroom is a process. Making videos with your voice and photo on the screen helps to personalize them, which is a feature that holds students’ interest. Teachers who have made videos have commented that it is time consuming, but worth it. The recommendation for the length of a video is 1 – 1 ½ minutes per grade level. Can you imagine being able to deliver the most important content without disruptions in 5 – 10 minutes! Yet, we haven’t gotten to the most important feature of a flipped classroom!

PBJ project-1

The in-class time that teachers have interacting with students, actually solving problems, creating authentic projects, collaborating with students is invaluable. Engaging in meaningful activities is when the real learning happens! All who have flipped their classroom have done it for this reason: more time for what is important…helping students to make connections with the content and understanding the application of it. There are no more lectures in school. Instead, the teacher walks around the room supporting students. Great student-teacher relationships can happen!

There are many Flipped Learning Resources. Some suggestions made by those who have flipped:

  • Train students, parents and administrators about the flipped learning process and the use of the video. This may take time prior to beginning implementation.
  • Try it for just one subject once a week.
  • Make most of the videos, then begin.
  • Decide how you can best use the extra time that you will have in class for the students: problem, project, inquiry based learning, mastery, discussions, writing, practice problems, etc.
  • Not all students will need to watch the videos. At least they are available for any student who needs to watch them whenever.
  • Think about how the videos will be delivered to the students.
  • Keep in mind the differentiation that can now exist and how this can be done to meet the needs of all students in the classroom.
  • Find another teacher who can collaborate with you, whether it be a peer in your school or on Twitter.
  • Reflect. The flow of flipping will take time and will evolve as you continue.
  • Please let me know if there are any other suggestions that can be added.
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4 thoughts on “The Flipped Classroom: A Student-Centered Learning Environment

  1. Great post, love your bulleted list of suggestions; I honestly think you covered everything that a new “flipper” might want to know. One slight tweak I would make is that in addition to only doing one subject (I’m assuming this is for elementary), what about just a handful of activities in that subject? Trying to flip an entire subject might, in and of itself, be overwhelming! I eased myself into to it (8th grade social studies) by flipping specific topics within units, and each year add to them. So far, it seems to work great, though I do not ever see myself flipping an entire class…

    • Hi, Matt,
      Thank you. This is especially appreciated coming from someone who is flipping. I like your suggestion and will make that addition. Using flipped lessons occasionally for one subject would decrease any frustration of feeling overwhelmed. I can’t even imagine jumping in full force like Todd N. Alias TechNinja.

  2. Nice post, with good videos. I think Matt is correct that you have to flip it slowly, starting with a unit or single subject first to see how it goes. I like all the tips you included, and I think it is important to build within a community in which you have others who are also trying to flip their classrooms as well. It is important to train the parents as well because it will have been entirely different than their educational experience growing up. It sounds like a lot of work to create videos every single day for your classes, and making sure they watch it at home. How do you ensure that your students watch the videos?

    • Hi, Allen,
      Making videos everyday would be an incredibly ambitious task. I don’t think I could commit to it. The video that interviewed the two flipped teachers and a few others that I saw indicated that they really only made 2 – 3 videos per week. The videos aren’t that long, but would take time to plan. From what I’ve read, some teachers assign some responses about the videos, maybe a few quick problems or questions to prove to the teacher their understanding level of the content on the video. I’m not convinced that this would necessarily prove that the students watched the videos. Some teachers say that not all students will need to watch the videos, but then I wonder if these students are being challenged. The purpose of the videos is to get rid of the lecture and provide more time for practice/application. If I was a flipped teacher and I noticed lack of understanding of the video content, I would tell the students to watch the video right then before they can proceed with activities in the room. So, the videos are available to be watched when needed. How do you feel about monitoring the watching of the videos?

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