What to consider when flipping the K-12 classroom

Some schools make computer labs available before and after school, as well as during lunchtime, for students who need them.

The South Berwyn School District 100 in Illinois, with a high number of low-income students, has sustained a flipped learning model with the help of a one-to-one device program that gives students access to iPads or laptops during school hours, and students have the option to take their devices home if they do not have internet access or a device at home, said Lindsey Lahr, an SBSD 100 instructional coach.

Students without internet access download their flipped lessons before leaving school, a process managed through eChalk, which the district uses as its instruction and communication management platform. Teachers upload the videos to their eChalk class pages, and students download them for later viewing. Also, SBSD 100 works with Comcast’s Internet Essentials program to help connect low-income families to high-speed internet for $10 a month.

Lahr said the district’s flipped learning model, which has been operating since the beginning of the school year, is customized depending on student and teacher needs—for instance, younger students may need a modified approach, special education students sometimes need additional videos or guided notes, and pre-made videos may not always be suitable for a certain group of students.

Other important flipped learning considerations include:

  • Required investment: Finding or creating videos and resources for flipped learning takes time, and educators may have to change their lesson at the last minute if students don’t understand.
  • Knowing what works for students: Different approaches work with different students, and part of making flipped learning a success is knowing which approach to use.
  • Keeping students on track: “If you’re providing the resource, and they’re not watching it, you may not be aware that you aren’t teaching half of your class,” Lahr said. Asking students to complete short questions or solve problems based on the video is one way to gauge participation.
  • Informing parents: Many parents are not aware of educational trends, and getting parents on board and increasing home support can go a long way.

See also:

How a flipped classroom flipped a student’s perspective

Four steps to flipping the classroom

Flipped learning: A response to five common criticisms

Laura Ascione

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