Teachers: Involve parents in the flipped classroom, too

I’ve done the typical newsletters and mass eMails to parents in the past, but decided that since I’m using video to teach students, I might as well do the same thing for their parents. So that’s exactly what I did, but with a little twist. I created a video that held parents’ attention and gave them the information they wanted. With the help of TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio, I embedded buttons (known as hotlinks) in my videos to give the viewer complete control and navigate to the topics that they wanted to see first. The feedback from parents was extremely positive; not only were they happy to be informed of what was occurring in class, they were also impressed with the way technology was being used to support their child’s learning.

Today more than ever, teachers need parents on their side. Teachers of all ages, all subjects, all grades, flipped or not, are doing amazing work. We are constantly reinventing our practice, incorporating technology, and spending our own time looking for ways to improve. Why not let parents know about this? In my video I provided parents with a link to my blog and Twitter feed. I want parents to see that this is more than just a job to me–it has become a passion.

Over the past 200 years, the teaching model hasn’t really changed. Since the first schools were created, teachers have stood at the front of the classroom and lectured. Today we’re in the beginning of a fundamental shift in education that will greatly benefit students by using the latest and greatest technology that’s available in our classrooms. Not only does this shift show parents that we’re putting in the effort needed to educate their children, it also creates an environment where students can be relaxed, learn at their own pace, and receive more individual attention than ever before.

Graham Johnson is a math teacher at Okanagan Mission Secondary in Kelowna, British Columbia. You can learn more about his flipped classroom at www.mathjohnson.com.

For more news about flipped learning, see:

New developments enhance school video use

How TED-Ed is helping to amplify instruction

The truth about flipped learning

How to make videos your students will love

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