Flip or Flop?

Flipped classrooms is a trending topic on Twitter and at education/technology conferences. There are pro’s, con’s, and potential roadblocks to success with the flipped classroom. Before I invested time/money on flipping my classroom, I wanted to find out as much about it. The first portion of this post includes the information; the second part of the blog will be what it really looked like in my own classroom.

There are two great videos that present what I thought was a complete picture of the rationale and procedure behind flipping.

Flipped Classroom Pro’s vs Con’s 

What if students don’t watch the videos?

Another good resource to help wrap your mind around the flipped classroom is the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation . The Free Technology for Teachers blog also had a great blog post with recommendations for different tools to use depending on your recording needs: Flipping Your Classroom with Free Web Tools.

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Before I could flip I had to brainstorm and storyboard what I wanted to accomplish with in the video. I checked out 4 apps for iPad (Explain Everything, ShowMe, Educreations, and ScreenChomp) to help with screencasting – the selections were based on a review on the Technology with Intention blog. Educreations is by far my favorite and meets my needs to most. I knew I would struggle with wanting perfection, but it is not fair to expect that of ourselves or our students all the time. I settled for one practice run, and I published the second recording. Video for Flipped Classroom: AR Verb Conjugation

My flipped trial was more successful than anticipated. The students benefited from being able to pause and process; something that is often missed in a traditional classroom. The students were not given strict expectations for the video. Their task was to take notes on the information that was new. The vast majority of students actually completed the task (probably 70 of 80). Of the students who completed the assignment, only one student did not take sufficient notes. Keep in mind, these were 6th graders, so it was amazing odds.

Because there were still ten students who did not watch the video the night before, there had to be an alternative plan. The students who were prepared had optional review game time with their favorite game (Zondle). The ten students who needed to watch the video were able to do that at the beginning of class before we got into the meat of the lesson. No one was left behind because they did not watch the video.

The next step: have the students explain conjugation to me in their own words providing screencast examples. I’m leaning towards Screencast-O-Matic for student recordings because they would not need to create a user name to record / share their work.

About Lisa Butler

Middle school geography teacher, tech trainer, Flocabulary MC, Nearpod PioNear, and Edcamp Hershey Founder. I have embraced the power of purposeful technology and am creative with their application. If I am not doing something with ed or tech, I am probably reading children's books, baking with a toddler sidekick, running around, or dreaming of traveling.
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8 Responses to Flip or Flop?

  1. This is the first time I heard about flipping a classroom. Interesting idea. If I understand correctly they watch videos made by the teacher,but how do the students access the videos that you make or am I not understanding the concept of flipping?

    • lgb06 says:

      We have a class website, so the videos are easily posted, and the students can access them from home (or anywhere they have an Internet connection). The homework assignment is to pre-learn the lesson, so when it is presented in class they can understand at a deeper level. Flipping the classroom provides more time for teacher guided practice instead of having the students struggle with homework independently.

      • What happens with the few those that don’t have access to internet?

      • lgb06 says:

        The students were given two days to complete the assignment. There are computers available to students during a study hall/flex period. The day it was due, students who completed the video task ahead of time had review game time. The students who still needed to watch the video did that before the lesson started, so they were still able to participate once class began.

  2. Pingback: School End Reflection | Adventures with Technology

  3. Carl says:

    What about students who do not have access to a computer at home? In my class, we do not have computer stations. So, students w/o access at home would not be able to watch the videos.

    • lgb06 says:

      The concept of flipping is not a perfect fit for every classrooms. Our school has a few computers in each classroom, plus a computer lab, plus a library. So as long as students are given more than a single night to watch, they can normally find a place. Some students would even meet up and watch the videos together but take their own notes. I also keep the videos short – less than 10 minutes – which makes it easier for students who need to watch the video from a school computer.

  4. Pingback: Flipped: Trends, Tips, Tools, and Myths | Adventures with Technology

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