The Flipped Classroom




The above image is from a blog by Peter Pappa. Through and infograph Peter explains the history and ability of using flipped classes. A flipped classroom is very interesting. Instead of lecturing to students during the school day teacher now have the ability to create videos for their students to watch at home. Students can then sit at home and learn the material, write any questions, and communicate with their peers and teachers about the concept. Once they come to class they now have the time to work with the concept since they’ve already listened to the material.

I can see a lot of benefits to the flipped classroom. 1) Students aren’t sent home with homework they may not understand fully. 2) The classroom is not a more interesting and engaging environment. 3) Students can receive more support from their teachers.

While all of this makes a flipped classroom appealing, I’m not completely sold. Theres a number of logistics which make a flipped classroom difficult, especially for an elementary classroom. First, what if a student doesn’t have access to any sort of technology at home? While we are living in a high tech world today that doesn’t mean every one has the same access to it. Some students may not have access to technology because of parental rules or financial reasons. A student shouldn’t be discriminated based on social economic status.

While for high school classes where most of the lessons are lecture a flipped classroom for an elementary class it doesn’t seem as useful. My own style of teaching incorporates as much group collaboration or hands-on activities as possible. Without the back and forth of live conversation I’m afraid I’d lose a lot of valuable education. Many students ask questions that may be unrelated, but pop up during a lesson. If they had the same question while watching a video would they even bother to bring it up the next day in class?

The ability of the flipped classroom to allow more hands-on and engaging work instead of lecturing is fantastic! But for myself I see it as more of a remedial tool for now.