Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"What the Flip?" (or "Making the best use of our in-class time")

"It's your turn to wash dishes."

"Do I have to do it right now?"

"Nope. Just do it sometime today. You decide when."

It's a great privilege to decide on the timing of something, isn't it? When it's up to me to determine when I should wash dishes, a lot goes into my decision: Is this movie almost over? Am I reaching a breaking point on this book? How much is there to wash? Are we about to eat again? If so, what are we eating—sandwiches (just hose off the plate) or pasta (with multiple pots and pans to scrub)? With so much to consider, one can become overwhelmed; on the other hand, there's also the opportunity to choose to accomplish my chore at the time it best works for me.

Is it possible for teachers to structure our class time in a more effective way, then, where students are able to learn at times more convenient than 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th period? Better yet, can teachers find a way to optimize their valuable, limited, never-quite-enough-of-it instructional time without having to go through the "same old same old" of introducing a lesson and then sending students away with a packet of homework and questions on how to complete it?

Enter flipped classrooms.

The main goal of a flipped classroom is to enhance student learning and achievement by reversing the traditional model of a classroom, focusing class time on student understanding rather than on lecture. To accomplish this, teachers post short video lectures online for students to view at home prior to the next class session. This allows class time to be devoted to expanding on and mastering the material through collaborative learning exercises, projects, and discussions. Essentially, the homework that is typically done at home is done in the classroom, while the lectures that are usually done in the classroom are viewed at home.
There are so many excellent resources on flipping the classroom, so for this week's #teachSDA "homework", we invite you to look into it yourself and share some great resources that you've found. Here are a couple that we like:
Also, for more awesome resources than you can likely handle, check out the #flipclass Twitter hashtag—SO much excellent stuff there!

Bring some great stuff to our #teachSDA chat this week, next Monday at 8pm Eastern Time, and please share with your friends!