Amazingly, someone (names changed to protect the innocent) wrote me yesterday with this request about flipped learning:
What Is Flipped Learning?
If you are not familiar with flipped learning (#flippedlearning Twitter chat is nice to get caught up), here is how I describe it to others:
In a typical flipped classroom, students listen to pre-recorded video lectures class and perform other learning activities class. In this flipped structure, students are exposed to material before class via videos and readings, and they attain deeper knowledge in class via activities. Why would you want to go to the trouble of doing flipped learning? Because the research says it works. I like to point folks to 10 Published Findings and Studies that offer qualitative and quantitative results in support of flipped learning, as well as Sophia Learning’s Flipped Classroom online course (free!). And keep in mind that flipped learning can work with students of any age.
Overcoming Technical Obstacles
Unfortunately, many teachers who are uncomfortable with technology to begin with get hung up on the technical aspects of flipping the classroom. Here are some practical suggestions for helping them in professional learning:
1) Show teachers how to storyboard their content first, then create a video about their lesson with the tools they have on hand. All the tools are free to get started. (A few of my favorites appear below.)
2) Keep videos short, 5 to 10 minutes max (shorter is better). You can always create more videos. Think “bite-sized chunks” that students can nibble on their way to/from school, sitting somewhere waiting for an adult to do something, or during the gap in a basketball game on television or in person.
3) Figure out where the videos will be posted. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT question to get answered before you start encouraging teachers to start sharing flipped video lessons. If you’re using Google Apps for Education, you have unlimited storage. If you are using Microsoft OneDrive for Business/Schools (Office 365 through your district), then you have one terabyte of storage space. If you are using YouTube, no problem. Video hosting is VERY important because it has to be accessible by both staff and students.
4) Plan for intensive classroom activities, and don’t be surprised if part of your class needs to watch the video in class (set up a pod of computers or devices where that can happen) while the rest of the students wrestle with a real life application of the flipped learning.
Listen to Practitioners
In a hallway at the annual TCEA Convention & Exposition, you can learn a lot if you stop to chat with folks. One person that I met during the TCEA 2014 convention was Arden Curtis (@ardencurtis), a ninth grade biology teacher at the time. This was an off-the-cuff conversation that yielded quite a few insights into flipped learning. Be sure to listen to practitioners like Arden.
Flipped Learning Tools
Looking for some quick tools to get started?
Are you an iPad fanatic? Lots of people are and these devices make for perfect flipped learning platforms. With iOS devices, give serious thought to one of these three apps:
Finally, since flipped learning involves working with video files, I must share some tips on the technical process of dealing with it:
But, wait, there’s more! Once you have your video recorded and ready for students to access online, you may want some way to determine if they have watched it. Mix in a Google Sheet Reflection with a Flubaroo feedback form that triggers when they submit something, an Excel Online Survey form that allows them to submit their reflections, or have them create something online, anywhere.
Virtual spaces like Google Classrooms, Microsoft Classroom, Edmodo, Diigo Outliner (free for educators), and Sophia Learning all offer ways to help structure flipped learning content. You can also combine tools like OneNote with Microsoft Sway embedded in OneNote pages to create a virtual “closed space” or an open one, depending on what the culture of your teaching and learning environment.
Whether it’s a piece of writing, a Vocaroo audio file they can send you the link to or a video reflection they can post on YouTube, flipped learning reflections can empower students to become consumers and creators of academic content.
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure