Here’s our first experiment with the “flipped classroom” model. It’s a video starting the 8th graders out with their research for the Documentary Project. The idea of a flipped classroom is to have them view the “instruction” at home (whether that’s reading, writing, listening, viewing, etc.) and then they are prepared to practice in the classroom, rather than saving the practice for home, where they might not have anyone who can help them if they get stuck. It’s not really a new model, but it certainly has been ramped up by all of the available technologies out there – Jing, Flip video cameras, podcasts, etc. There are a few things I like about this model:
- They’re going to have more time to do the actual activity. Before, it might take 20 minutes to explain what we’re going to do, and then they only have another 20 to actually practice.
- Students can learn at their own pace. The can stop and start this video, or watch it more than once, or rewind to something that they didn’t get the first time around.
- I can reinforce what’s being said with text – iMovie lets me do that. In this video, I run the definition across the bottom of the page while I’m discussing it.
- It allows me to be creative – look at how I took advantage of my talented colleague! (Thank you, Shannon!)
- Students can listen at home when they can give full attention, and not be distracted by each other in class. (Now, the disadvantage would be if they do not choose to even watch the video! But we have a homework task attached to it, so they are being told that to be prepared for our in-class activity, they need to complete this “prep work” at home).
One thing I’m thinking of adding is a link where they can ask questions if they want. Then I can read them before class and address them at the beginning, or if it’s just an issue for one or two students, I can reply specifically to them.