Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Before You Flip, Consider This: Leaders of the Flipped Classroom Movement Say Each Teacher Will Have a Different Experience, but Securing School Leadership Support, Time, and IT Resources Will Be Important to Every Effort

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Before You Flip, Consider This: Leaders of the Flipped Classroom Movement Say Each Teacher Will Have a Different Experience, but Securing School Leadership Support, Time, and IT Resources Will Be Important to Every Effort

Article excerpt

Flipping your class starts with asking ONE simple question. In 2007, when we embarked on our journey through what is now known as a flipped class, we asked: What is the best use of face-to-face time with students?

Talking at our students for 30 to 50, minutes each day was not the best use of class time. We concluded that students needed us most when they were wrestling to understand a difficult concept or problem. This wrestling match often happened at home when we were unavailable to help students as they constructed their understanding. We reasoned that the best use of class time centered on engaging students in enriching activities and hands-on experiences. So, we stopped delivering direct instruction in class and haven't given a whole-class lecture in six years. We brought more inquiry and problem-based learning into classes and shifted any necessary direct instruction to videos that could be viewed either outside class or during class when a student needed the instructional content. We began our journey by simply trying to meet the needs of students.

Our guideposts

Flipped learning is a method developed by teachers for teachers, a grassroots movement gaining traction with the ones who have the real power to change education: classroom instructors. Each class is different, each teacher is different, and each will answer the ONE question differently. Still, some commonalities exist in what teachers need to become successful flipped teachers:

A network--Teachers who are successful are working with other teachers. Many of them have at least one other teacher in their building who is also flipping a class. Those who work "alone" often contribute and network with colleagues online. One place we are seeing them collaborate is at flippedclassroom.org where over 9,000 people are discussing and collaborating about how to flip classes.

Support from the IT department--One of the big questions that each school or district must answer is: Where do I put my videos? There is no one right answer to this question. But the IT department must be on board with a flipped class model and help make posting teacher-made videos easy.

Support from administrators--Flipping a class (or a lesson) is a different way to teach. …

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