The Flipped Classroom








(Image sourced from under fair dealing)

What is a flipped classroom? 

In short, a flipped classroom is one where some portion of the instruction happens outside the classroom, leaving classroom time available for more hands on work time, teacher assistance, interaction and discussion, etc.

A recent article posted on Edudemic, highlights some of the ways in which you might adjust your classroom practice, to maximise student engagement, in a flipped scenario.  A snippet follows:

  1. Interactive Quizzes: Include these in any online videos. You can even structure it so a student has to take the quiz before watching the video lecture. Quizzes are a great way to track each student’s personal progress.
  2. In-Class Assessments: Implement a short entry quiz at the beginning of each class, or a warm-up exercise designed to go over the preceding night’s assigned video. Additionally, class-wide discussions can help students review the material, as well as give them a solid chance to present and discuss their perspectives.
  3. Online Discussion Forums: Create a forum and award points based on participation via the posting of comments. Think of it as Facebook, but for student credit.

The benefits of a flipped classroom are many.  The infographic below summarises the responses of 450 educators (in June 2012) who have been dabbling in (or diving right in) flipping their classrooms. (Click on the link above, or here, to see the original, larger image).










Flipped learning has multiple benefits for students as well.  The most significant advantages to flipping are apparent with respect to differentiated and/or blended learning.

The same recent article posted on Edudemic highlights some of the benefits of using technology to facilitate differentiated learning.  A snippet follows:

Access to technology is a key component in making flipped education a success, both in and out of the classroom. Here’s why:

  1. Instant Access: Many students have immediate access to the Internet via smartphones. While this can distract from the in-class learning process, it can also help students learn whenever and wherever they want. If a student doesn’t understand a topic during the morning lecture, he or she can go online and review that topic later at home — or at the mall, the park, etc.
  2. The Latest Access: Using the latest technology keeps students aware of the latest technology. Simply reading about an iPad is a world away from being able to actually use it to see a red blood cell in action. Hands-on knowledge of the latest gadgets is incredibly beneficial to student understanding.
  3. Complete Access: Utilizing the Internet at home allows students far more time to explore their own interests, thus promoting independent learning. At school, teachers can use technology to guide students to explore these interests in greater depth. Having access to the information in both places means students can learn at absolutely any time.

Flipping your classroom doesn’t have to happen overnight.  Start with one lesson, then another, until eventually you have an entire unit ready to flip.  That might be all the flipping you do, or need to do.  Flipping will work better for some units, even some courses, than others.

There is, perhaps, a bit of a steep learning curve to get started.  The beauty of the internet though is that there are many different tools to support you,and lots of online video advice – tutorials – to walk you through the process step-by-step.

Nikolaos Chatzopoulos, an elementary teacher in Florida, has flipped his classroom, and written a brief article titled “4 Things to Consider Before You Flip Your Classroom.” It’s one of the better little summaries of the key stumbling blocks when setting out to begin the process of flipping.

I will endeavour to highlight what tools seem to work best, although every choice of a programme, or an app, is highly subjective.  What works best for one person, may not be the best choice for the next person.



(Image sourced from TeacherCast Podcasting Network under fair dealing)




Resources to support a Flipped Classroom

The best place to start looking for support for a flipped classroom is at The Flipped Learning Network.  As noted on their website:

The mission of the Flipped Learning Network™ is to provide educators with the knowledge, skills, and resources to successfully implement Flipped Learning. 

The goals of the FLN are to:
  • Provide professional learning opportunities on Flipped Learning.
  • Conduct, collaborate and disseminate relevant research on Flipped Learning.
  • Act as the clearinghouse for distributing promising practices for current and future “flipped” educators.
Video Resources
Video resources are a key component of the Flipped Classroom. (free online animation video tool) has a cute little animated video, titled 7 Ways to Use Wideo in Your Classroom, explaining how and why video is a workable medium for engaging students.
Video resources can be categorised into (at least) two sets: online videos perfect for borrowing, and tools to make your own online video resources.
For creating your own video…
  • Knowmia is a website and an iPad app for creating, sharing, and viewing video lessons.  Interesting options for designing assignments. Read more here.
  • Vine (Use the hotlink to read an extensive article about the educational possibilities of this social video app)
  • (see intro above)

For finding video materials to use…

  • Education Portal (Catalogue of Free Online Courses.  What matters here are the video lessons and tutorials covering a wide range of subject matter aimed at both high school and college level students. Many of the high school offerings are at the level of AP).
UNDER CONSTRUCTION…  More to come soon…

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