The idea of the flipped classroom has evolved over time. With all the buzz and different opinions, it’s easy to get confused about what flipped learning is. Here’s a basic description from the Flipped Institute.

As the debate rages on, the flipped classroom model continues to be redefined. It’s not just videos anymore. When making the transition to a flipped classroom model, there will be growing pains. You can be prepared for them if you are aware.

Understanding the Scope of the Flipped Classroom

Video production can be daunting to even the most seasoned techies. It is time-consuming and may require an acquisition of new video editing skills. Here are some sites and solutions to help you get over the hurdle and the fear of making your own videos/screencasts.

Writing the Script

Keith Hughes does this well. It’s comprehensive, clear, efficient, accurate:

Choosing the Method

Content Curating

Although making your own videos is optimal, content curation can help get the job done. Maybe the content you want to use has already been done before. Here’s an expert’s take on using other people’s videos.

Accountability in the Flipped Classroom

What do you do if a child has not viewed content? This should tell you that they have not been adequately prepared to complete the task at home.

  • If students come to your class unprepared, don’t re-lecture. This would send the wrong message that they can decide whether to flip your class or not.
  • The video-watching process needs to be scaffolded. Teach them how to watch, take notes, and engage in the content proactively rather than passively. Model the process for them.
  • As you teach them how to work within the flipped classroom environment, fewer will resist. These you can handle case by case.

Achieving Access for All

Not everyone will have Internet technology at home to view the video. For low income families, this may be an issue. There are a few ways to address this:

  • Create alternative methods for distributing your videos (e.g. DVD, jump drives, etc.)
  • Library computer access
  • Make videos accessible on different platforms, or different devices

Testing for Comprehension

You will need a means of formative assessment for viewing videos. This can still be done at home with online test programs. Google Forms can help you tally responses to questions after the video. Check out this article from NWEA listing over 30 tools for classroom formative assessment practices.

Conquering the Fear of Beginning

This is where teamwork comes in. It’s about making optimal use of the resources and expertise you already have around you. You can opt to get your tech team involved. Enlist their help to set up a flipped classroom or recording studio. Follow flipped classroom teacher Jeremy LeCornu’s example for some great inspiration. You can even have students hold a camera while you teach!

The point is to get help from those who have done it already. Such veterans are comfortable with the technology. It won’t be long before you’re just as comfortable and proficient as they are.

You can also check out Project Fizz and this flipped learning toolkit from Edutopia for more ideas.

Rethink Your Role

You will go from someone in front of the classroom to someone who can move about and interact with students on a one-on-one or small group setting. You can differentiate because you have essentially “duplicated” yourself. You’ve let your alter-ego do the lecturing while you do the socratic inquiry and dialogue.

Your thorough preparation will pay off in the long run. You’ll become a facilitator, and students  will own their learning. As you duplicate yourself on video, you expand your outreach. You’re now available in your students’ homes, and the homes of others. More teachers and students will benefit from your expertise. Anyone who wants to learn from your videos, in or out of school, can do so.

Getting Administrators/Parents on Board

There are numerous videos and websites dedicated to documenting the success of the flipped classroom. Here’s just a few to get you started:

Forge ahead and take it upon yourself to flip your own classroom. Document the results, and keep extensive records of your successes and stumbling blocks. This is so you can really see both your students’ progress and your own.

Some parents may not be comfortable with too much screen time for their kids. If you are making your own videos, a sense of trust can be established between parents and teachers. They know that kids aren’t wasting time, because you have taken the time to create your own content.

Overcoming Student Resistance

Believe it or not, friction may happen when your students’ preconceptions of traditional school are challenged. This is where you teach them how to interact with the videos. Escort them through the tour of this new learning environment.

As with any teaching model, remember that we are striving toward learner-driven education. It is inevitable that a different technique will have its detractors. Remember that these are paths that are being presented to you. It’s your choice if you want to use a different tool. Take notes, and then go make some flipped learning history of your own.

 

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