March 28, 2014
If you read my previous post on why you might want to flip the classroom, this post will offer you some considerations for how you might want to go about flipping the classroom. There is a lot to consider, and there is a lot of work involved in the first year, but after that, it is fine tuning. Much of this advice comes from the pioneer in the flipped classroom model, Jon Bergmann. Please see his website for more information about flipping the classroom.
My title of this post is a little misleading. I really can’t tell you specifically how to implement the flipped classroom model. But what I can do is give you some things you might want to consider when trying to implement this model.
- Get administration’s support in your school. You will need an ally because things will not always go well.
- Communicate to parents what you are doing and why you are doing it. You can never over-communicate to your parents. Remember, not only is this a new way of teaching for you, and a new way of learning for your students, it is also a new way for parents to support their children.
- Find a partner. While you can do this on your own, it is going to take time, resources, and energy.
Next, we should look at the challenges and the answers / solutions that might help you implement this model.
- Mindset – the greatest challenge to overcome is your mindset. If you are stuck on the traditional classroom model, you will not embrace this idea.
- Time – it takes lots and lots and lots of time to make this happen. Don’t expect to get this done in one school year. Don’t feel as though you have to flip your whole school year in all of your classes right now (although you certainly could if you have that much time). We are all under a time crunch, so just do what you can to get started. You probably will find yourself suddenly wanting to do more of it.
- Technology – students don’t have wifi, how do you record videos, and how do you host those videos? This is also a tough one, but when the flipped classroom was pioneered, not many students had smartphones, and there were no such things as tablets. Many students didn’t have wifi, and many didn’t have computers. So how did they do it? In 2007, when this program was implemented, everyone had access to a dvd player and television. So the teachers created the videos and burned them on dvds for students who didn’t have the computer access. While that is an extra step, once you figure out the software to make it happen, then it is relatively simple. To host the videos, you can develop a YouTube channel, use screencast.com, or My Big Campus. Sure, in our district for now, YouTube is blocked, but remember, students are going HOME to watch these videos. You can also put them into MBC from YouTube where students can view them at school.
- OK, that’s fine, but what happens when my students don’t do the homework? Then how are we supposed to do the “hard work” in class when I still have to teach them the concept? Solution: have a system where you check to see that they did the work (for example, they could take notes on the video at home that you check in the first 2 minutes, or maybe they answer some online questions via MBC or a Google form). Those that didn’t watch the video will have to spend the first 10 minutes of class watching the video and then have to get caught up to where everyone else was. You can still give them points for getting it done, but you only give partial credit. What ends up happening is that students begin to realize that it is easier to just watch the video before class. Will some still not do the homework? Of course, but how is that different than today, and you end up having far fewer students who do not complete the homework.
Resources – Use the following links for some much needed resources to help you get started.