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January 30th, 2013
Four steps to flipping the classroom
“There are sites popping up all the time that have great content,” Holden said.
An example of an easy topic to flip is the mathematical order of operations, or PEMDAS—Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally—to help students remember which mathematical processes to compute first.
Teachers should use increased class time to engage students. Flipping the classroom allows for more in-class discussion time, cooperative learning, and project-based learning, Holden said. But teachers shouldn’t use the flipped classroom as a chance to leave students to their own devices, he cautioned.
“Don’t turn your class into a study hall because kids are getting the lessons at home and now they’re able to do their homework at school—that’s how flipping can fail,” he said.
Educators should not expect to flip every lesson, and they should start by flipping, say, one lesson per week as they work to build a library of flipped lessons. Teachers in the same department can take turns flipping the classroom with different lessons, so that each teacher will wind up with a stash of flipped lessons.
Believing that flipping the classroom is a magic bullet to save education inevitably will lead to a failed experiment, Holden said.
“It is a tool in your toolbox—it’s a very effective, powerful tool, but it is not the be-all and end-all,” he said.
Additionally, teachers must have a Plan B for students who do not have internet access at home.
For those students without home internet access, teachers can:
- Record videos on a DVD.
- Save videos on a flash drive for students who have computers but no internet access.
- Help students visit the public library to access the internet there.
- Let students play videos during the first few minutes of class during attendance and record-keeping.
- Arrange for classroom or school computers or computer labs to be open before or after school or during lunch.
Educators can check out advice and tips from “flipping gurus” including Aaron Sams, Jonathan Bergmann, and Katie Gimbar. Still in beta, TED-Ed’s “Lessons Worth Sharing” offers valuable resources, too.