When I Flip You Flip We Flip

April 1, 2017

 

With the constant push for relevance and rigor in the classroom, flipped classrooms have made their presence known. Is it something for everyone? Can I do this? My personal belief is that flipping the classroom is the same as every other educational approach; you need to know yourself and you need to know your students.

 

Educause answers those initial questions educators may have about the whole idea of flipping their classroom. What is it really? Is this going anywhere, or is this another fad approach that will be replaced eventually? Does it even work? It can be scary or uneasy to move away from the more traditional approaches if you’re a veteran teacher and what you’ve been doing has been working. It can also be scary as a new teacher to do something completely different from what everyone else in your building is doing. No matter where you are in your teaching career, you might experience push back from administrators or colleagues in your building.

 

As with everything, there are positive and negatives to flipping your classroom. EducationNext explores both sides of this argument. Flipped classrooms allow for more of the higher level thinking to happen inside the classroom with the teacher present as more of a coach, rather than an instructor. Flipping also allows for the content to be watched and reviewed as many times as it takes for each individual student to understand. Edutopia has a collection of articles for flipping your classroom. The article that I found the most interesting for my own classroom was the “fliperentiated” instruction. Since I teach a majority of learning support students, this would be a helpful way to allow students to individually reach a level of understanding at home before coming to class. However, EducationNext talks about the dangers of flipping as being “seen as another front in a false battle between teachers and technology.”

 

Personally, I would love to flip my classroom or at least part of it. As of now, there are outside factors limiting my ability to do this. A large majority of students in my classes so not have access to internet or a device outside of what is offered at school, and there currently is no policy about students taking home district devices that I know of. I do have hope that this will be able to change in the future.

 

(Click on the infographic for a larger view.)

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