By Kimberly Hildebrandt
If you are an educator, you have probably heard of the Flipped Classroom. It is all the rage right now, and for good reason. The concept is simple, though the implementation can be quite varied. Here’s the big idea: Students learn content at home then come into class to practice, workshop, discuss, or work one-on-one with the teacher.
The flipped classroom isn’t really a new thing. Plenty of teachers have sent students home to learn new content from reading a text and then come to class to discuss. But, as people with language-based learning disabilities know, reading from a text is not accessible to all people and certainly does not always capture the essence of a lesson.
Technology has made the flipped classroom accessible to many more people. Today, “flipped classroom” has become synonymous with short video lectures or online manipulatives. Students then come to class to discuss the ideas they discovered in the lecture, practice new concepts with peer and teacher support, or further a project. The flipped classroom allows for more peer-to- peer and student-to-teacher interaction, something helpful to all students but particularly those who struggle in school. And making short videos lectures has never been easier. As long as you don’t mind the lectures being a little rough around the edges, a lecture takes hardly any more time to record than it does to actually give. Edutopia has a series of great videos (much more polished than my own) explaining the Flipped Classroom and the tech you need to do it. But remember, the flipped classroom is not the same as technology. As Edutopia would say, “We think the flipped classroom is a pedagogical solution with a technological component.”
While making your own videos ensures that students get consistent vocabulary and seamless instruction, you don’t have to make your own videos to start using the flipped classroom. Nor do you have to employ a flipped classroom ALL the time. START SMALL. Do a short unit using carefully curated videos or even just one lesson. And remember, if something goes wrong the first time around, give it a second chance.
So go ahead, give it a try! I think you’ll like it. Want to know more about the flipped classroom? Take a look at these resources:
- Edutopia Flipped Classroom - video tutorials explaining the flipped classroom
- Examples of video tutorials made by teachers:
- Examples of video tutorial go-to sites for curation:
(Note: ALWAYS preview a video before assigning it to students.)
- Hardware and Software to make a video tutorial
- I used an iPad and bContext app (though there are many interactive whiteboard apps available, I like bContext’s ability to upload documents from Google Drive and then upload videos directly to YouTube, which is where I shared videos with students)
- My colleague used a document camera or an iPad as a document camera (with iPad stand like this one and iPevo app).
- Always have students do something while watching a video:
What are your experiences with the flipped classroom? Have specific questions? Want to know more about how the flipped classroom plays out with students with language-based learning disabilities? Respond to this post and join the conversation!
Kimberly Hildebrandt was a math teacher for 10 years at the Landmark School and is currently their social media coordinator.