To Flip or Not To Flip

Last week on #DENChat, Lisa Parisi and Elaine Plybon took on both sides of the Flipped Classroom debate as they led the discussion on Twitter.

Flipping the classroom is a method of instruction that involves teachers creating short snippets of instruction on video (usually 5 to 15 minutes) and posting them online for students to watch at home.  The videos encapsulate the important concepts of a lesson.  By watching at home for “homework,” students and teachers can spend more quality time together in the classroom working individually or in groups.

Or, at least, that’s the theory.

Many teachers have thoroughly embraced the Flipped model.  Others are more skeptical.  Whatever side of the debate you are on, you will want to take a look at the archive from last week’s #DENChat located here.

This week Tim Childers will lead a discussion on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Science).  What is it?  Is it for everyone?  Why would we integrate it across disciplines?  And more.  Join us Thursday, May 9, at 8 PM EST.


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  1. Mark Case said:

    I thought I had cleared up flipping: the students lead the lesson and learning. But after last week’s DENchat and then the Flipped Webinar by DE this week, I am more confused than ever.

    I thought videos are just one way to flip a classroom, as long as the students are leading the learning in a controlled environment. Now, it comes back to video lead?

    What do you do with the large number of students that do not have internet at home?

    Do you have to make various video homework plans for various levels of students? How does that make work easier? It would seem to make more work than less.

    Yea, full of questions. I am good at that.

  2. Kelly Hines said:

    Mark, I love that you are full of questions! There are so many pieces to Flipping Classrooms, and the question is how to make it most meaningful – not just the same old thing wrapped up in a different package. I haven’t flipped my classroom yet because I haven’t wrapped my head around that!

  3. Tim Childers said:

    Flipped Classroom models vary widely, I’m sure. And even though it hasn’t been around long, what I would consider the “traditional” model is that the work that used to be done in the classroom (teacher instruction) is now done as homework, and what used to be considered homework (worksheets, problem solving, etc) is now done during class time.

    So the teacher instruction is typically some sort of video that goes through something step by step. This allows students who need to hear it or see it multiple times, to do so without driving the teacher crazy. It also takes the burden off the parents. They are no longer expected to know 6th grade math! In fact, most of the time, parents learn as well.

    With nearly every family in the world owning a smart phone of some type now, the numbers of students without access to the web is very small. For those students, perhaps a CD or a USB drive with the lessons on it would work. Or burned to a DVD for watching on the family television. Or, as in the case with some of our students who don’t have Internet access at home, yet are in a 1:1 iPad school, they watch the videos before school, during lunch, or after school while they have wifi. They also watch them at McDonald’s, Panera, Starbucks, the public library, and a host of other places that offer free wifi.

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