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could and should be used to improve the education of the students in our public schools. Flipping the classroom is an innovative technique that high schools as well as colleges are starting to test. Flipping the classroom simply means that lectures are delivered on the students’ own time outside of the school day using the Internet. Each student in a class watches the same video for homework and then discusses the lecture during class the next day. In this way class time is used for discussion and activities rather than lecture. A synonym for “flip” is “revolution” and flipping the classroom is going to cause a revolution in the traditional learning system (“Flipping the Classroom” 1). The revolution occurs not only when the lectures take place at home instead of in the classroom but also when teachers become mentors rather than just lecturers. The revolution relies on innovative teachers who provide online content and who become guides of student learning. The revolution has the potential to increase student learning and decrease student failure rate. There are different ways of flipping a classroom. Some schools have teachers who record their own videos and put them online for their students to watch the night before class. Other schools rely on Internet lessons made by teachers across the country or on lectures provided through their textbook company. Kahn Academy provides free lessons
Streepey 2 on YouTube and began with one individual, Salman Kahn, helping a younger relative with math by posting math explanations on YouTube. Kahn Academy caught the interest and funding of Bill Gates and currently has over 900,000 YouTube subscribers and has delivered over 200 million free academic lessons online through YouTube. A flipped classroom with an experienced teacher can evolve to where students are progressing at different levels so that students could be watching different videos at night, depending on their individual progression. Some systems, such as with Kahn Academy, software can be used to help students progress faster and to individually monitor their progress. Implementing a flipped classroom requires time for the students to adjust to the change in the way they are being taught. Student homework will be to watch a lesson and may include answering basic questions about the lesson. The difference between a traditional classroom and watching lectures at home can be an adjustment for students. Students will be challenged to focus on their own because they will not have a teacher present to make sure that they are concentrating on the lesson. Some teachers are afraid that the students will not focus when watching the lectures at home. However, this is the same concern when in a large classroom setting where it is difficult to monitor the attention of each student when lecturing. In a traditional classroom, the teacher may not realize that a particular student does not understand a concept if that student does not speak up. If the teacher believes that the majority of the students are grasping the concept of the lecture, he or she may just move on to the next topic and students may be left behind. In a flipped classroom, students who are afraid to ask questions in front of their peers can go over the lecture as many times as needed. Struggling students, students with disabilities, and students
Streepey 3 acquiring English as a second language will all benefit from having repeated access to the information A flipped classroom allows for class time to be used for more individualized help. For example, in many math classes, the teacher lectures the entire class and then students are sent home with problems to do. Because of this, when students go home after a traditional class, they often have “trouble connecting what they had been taught in class with what they were supposed to apply at home” (“Flipping the Classroom” 3). Students who did not understand or who cannot remember the lesson are unable to do the assigned math problems and may give up. If class lectures are watched at home, the teacher can help students individually in class if they are struggling with a certain aspect of the material and can work with the entire class on more difficult problem solving. In a flipped classroom, the students have already experienced the material from watching the lectures at home and “it frees up more class time for doing hand-on activities and helping students work through concepts they do not understand” (Brunsell 1). Flipping the classroom is also more beneficial for students than a traditional learning environment because it allows time for more in-depth discussions and learning. Students have more time in class to do hands-on projects and to participate in deeper discussions. The students will learn the material more in depth because they are not simply being lectured in class and they will be expected to participate. Students also benefit more from flipped classrooms rather than the traditional learning system because the students have more time to process the information being taught and to formulate their own questions before coming to class.
Streepey 4 A current problem with regular education is that standardized testing does not show the individual progress of a student. Khan Academy has come up with a dashboard for each class where the teacher “can follow the progress of each child-where she started, how she progress, and where she got stuck and unstuck” (“Flipping the Classroom 4). The progress of the students can be monitored individually, which a traditional learning environment cannot offer. Learning is not only about how much material you know, but it is also about progression and improvement in learning. With Kahn Academy, each subject area electronically branches to move the student through a series of skills. A teacher can monitor when a student is struggling, which is not possible in a traditional learning environment. Teachers can also “see exactly who has watch which [video]” to make sure the students are doing what they need to be doing (“Flipping The Classroom” 3). If a student is watching the same video multiple times, it will help the teacher to see which students need early intervention. In this way the teachers can make sure that their students understand the material being taught long before it is assessed. A common misconception of having the teachers not lecture during class is that it will “make live teachers less relevant” (“Flipping the Classroom” 1). However, this is not true because the teacher still does his or her job but just in a different way. The teacher still serves as a lecturer but at a different time because they serve as a lecturer at home rather than during class. During class time teachers “serve as mentors rather than lecturers” (Brunsell 2). Teachers guide the discussions of the students during the class time and they help students explore what they have learned. For example, in a traditional math classroom students often have questions on their homework because some of the
Streepey 5 examples are not the same as the ones that were used in the lecture. Students can now come into class with questions they had during the lecture and work the more difficult problems in class while there is a teacher to help. For Language Arts or Social Studies class, teachers notice that the students have “rich interactions” with each other during class discussions when flipping a lesson (“Flipping the Classroom” 2). The students discussing among themselves also challenges the students to see if they actually know the material that was covered in the lecture. Teachers also benefit in a flipped classroom because there is less repetition while providing more consistency In a normal school day the teacher has to repeat “the content class after class” because they have the same lesson but different students during different times (Brunsell). If the classroom were flipped then there would be “more class time freed up to increase teacher-student interaction” (Brunsell 2). This will benefit schools that have to have a large number of students in each class because the teacher will have more time for students individually and can answer more student-driven questions about the material. Administrators can also evaluate the teacher’s ability to teach because the “administrators can watch the videos” that the teachers put online (Brunsell 2). This will help the schools highlight effective teachers and help less effective teachers. Online lectures or lessons can help in the consistency of delivery within a school, ensuring that all students receive quality instruction across teachers and classes. Parents’ reactions to the flipped classroom have been positive because they can know what their child is learning in school. Sometimes parents do not know what is being taught in school. With a flipped classroom, parents can see the videos online and are able to engage in their child’s academic life. If someone is helping the student with
Streepey 6 homework or studying, the adult can watch the videos to understand how the teacher is presenting the subject matter. Teachers experienced with flipping classrooms may eventually be able to have students progressing at different rates. In this way faster students can move through material they understand while slower students can have additional time to master the basic concepts. This is called the “flipped-mastery program” and has caused some concern among parents who suggest that some students might get left behind because other students can move ahead in the lectures after they have mastered a topic (“Flipping the Classroom” 3). The concern is that if students are not learning the same thing each night then they cannot discuss it in class and parents have reservations that teachers will have too much on their hands since students will be learning different things from different lectures. However, teachers in a flipped-mastery program restrict all the videos to the same general topic while allowing some students to be two or three days ahead of the majority of the class. This will only help the students who are not there yet because they get a preview of what it to come when that student is participating in the class discussion and often have students who can explain the material in a different way to them. Because students can learn at their own pace, each student can reach his or her full learning potential. Public high schools are experimenting with flipping their classrooms such as the low-income Clintondale High School in Michigan. Rob Townsend, a physical science teacher at Clintondale, set out to see why so many students were failing classes and not showing up to school. He discovered that “students lived too far to walk to school, had unreliable transportation, or depended on city buses that often run late” (Ãlvarez 2).
Streepey 7 Townsend proposed that they flip their classrooms so that students who miss a day of class because of one of these reasons would not get behind in the material they were learning that day. Flipping the classroom not only benefits students that cannot make it school but also the ones that attend class regularly. “By taking notes at home, an additional thirty minutes of class time was added to learning” so students could ask questions and participate in hands on activities (Ãlvarez 1). The extra class time is wher the teacher has time for the deeper questioning, harder problem solving, and more thoughtful discussions. During traditional lectures, students have to process the information the moment it is said. They do not have time to reflect on what is being said. In a flipped classroom, students have an ample amount of time to watch the lesson and can therefore understand the material more in depth and come to class for clarifications and questions. At Clintondale, having students watch the lectures at home caused a problem for students who did not have access to a computer, so students who were not able to access a computer at home were allowed to go to “the library and computer lab before school, during lunch, and after school” (Ãlvarez 2). As a result of flipping the classroom, Townsend found that “a much larger percentage of assignment [were] completed and to a much high quality” (Ãlvarez 3). The students understanding the material caused the quality of the assignments to increase. If a student does not understand the assignment, they will have a low quality of work because they are doing the assignment just to get the grade. By flipping the classroom, the student can now understand the topic of the assignment and will be able to complete and enhance their comprehension of the topic. In addition to the quality of assignments, Clintondale saw that “the percentage of students
Streepey 8 failing fell from 52% to 19%” (Ãlvarez 1). Clintondale wasn’t the only school that showed reports of improving after flipping the classroom. A recent survey was conducted on high schools that had flipped their classroom and it reported that “90% of respondents who had tried flipping their classroom reported improved job satisfaction; nearly 70% reported increases in student standardized test scores; and 80% reported improved student attitudes (Brunsell 2). The dramatic increase in test scores shows the positive effects of flipping a classroom and the potential it has for the students in our public schools.. In another example, a handful of professors at The University of Michigan had students watch lectures outside of class and saved class time for discussion about the lecture. Because “Michigan’s teaching methods … have led to greater gains in conceptual understanding” and as a result “students in Michigan’s flipped courses showed gains at about twice the rate of those in traditional lectures” (Berrett 2). Along with The University of Michigan, other professors at other universities have had their version of flipping their classroom. For example, Eric Mazur, a professor at Harvard University, has his students read their books outside of class and then has “class time devoted to exploring symbolism or drawing out themes” (Berrett 1). Many professors of literature classes use this concept because it has proven to be the most effective. Discussions of the book lets students give their ideas about their reading and can learn from the opinions that other have. He believes that “simply transmitting information should not be the focus of teaching; helping students to assimilate that information should” (Berrett 2). By providing class time to be used for discussion it can help the students understand the information in more depth.
Streepey 9 Flipping classrooms by having students preview lessons at home and using class time to discuss and explore lessons in depth holds the potential to transform our public schools. Technology is transforming our everyday lives and should be harnessed to improve the education level in our country. Flipping classrooms should be used to support our at-risk students but ultimately benefits all students by improving the quality of their school day and helping each student to reach his or her learning potential.
Streepey 10 Works Cited Ãlvarez, Brenda. "FLIPPING THE CLASSROOM: Homework In Class, Lessons At Home." Education Digest 77.8 (2012): 18-21. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Mar. 2013. Berrett, Dan. "How 'Flipping' The Classroom Can Improve The Traditional Lecture." Education Digest 78.1 (2012): 36-41. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Mar. 2013. Brunsell, Eric and Martin Horejsi. "Flipping Your Classroom In One "Take." Science Teacher 80.3 (2013): 8. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Mar. 2013. Brunsell, Eric, and Martin Horejsi. "“Flipping” Your Classroom." Science Teacher 78.2 (2011): 10. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Mar. 2013. "Flipping The Classroom." Economist 400.8751 (2011): 30-32. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Mar. 2013. "Flipping The Classroom." Educational Horizons 90.2 (2011): 5-7. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Mar. 2013. "Flipping Classrooms." Phi Delta Kappan 93.4 (2011): 6. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Mar. 2013. "Flipping The Classroom." Technology & Learning 32.10 (2012): 42-43. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Mar. 2013.
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