Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Flipping Tools for the Science Classroom

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Flipping Tools for the Science Classroom

Article excerpt

With the spread of flipped instruction (video lectures watched at home and "homework" done in class) and blended learning opportunities (traditional methods combined with computer-mediated activities), we see a dynamic shift away from the lecture-based classroom. These changes help students progress independently, aided by many free online resources. Screencasting and podcasting technology, for example, allow you to create differentiated learning experiences in the flipped classroom, providing students with a more tailored learning experience.



Use screencasting tools (e.g., Jing, Screencast-o-Matic, Snapz Pro, Camtasia, Reflector App) to capture videos of you performing example tasks on your computer or tablet screen while narrating a voiceover. Share these screencasts with students who need extra help using digital tools. For example, students could watch customized screencasting modules that detail all of the steps of creating an iMovie or Windows MovieMaker project instead of completing a traditional pre-assignment write-up. Students could then come to class already understanding the technology and the expectations for its use, allowing them to better leverage it to augment their own learning.

Not surprisingly, in nearly every circumstance where we've assigned this type of flipped assignment to students, they have come to class with clear expectations. In many cases, they have also tried the technology on their own at home and are ready and excited to tackle a more complicated project. Students could then focus on the investigation itself, learning by creating a product with the digital tool.


You can provide students with hints or step-by-step solutions to some of the most challenging problems you assign, not through an answer key, but by recording your own voice or a voice-accompanied whiteboard talk.

Students often struggle with the same types of problems from year to year, so providing them with scaffolding they can access at home is useful and will save you instruction time in the long run.

This can easily be accomplished with either of two types of relatively simple tools. The first is a podcasting tool (e.g., Vocaroo, Audacity, GarageBand), which allows you to record your voice describing the problem-solving process for a single question or set of questions. …

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