So this is part 2 of the flipped classroom series. Please visit Part 1 first to have an overview on this new paradigm shift in education. One of the organizations leading the way for the flipped classroom to be a reality is the Khan Academy.
So what does the flipped classroom mean for students, teachers, schools, and the parents? Part II will examine how the flipped classroom will affect each of these stakeholders.
In a flipped classroom, students will be doing more hands on activities under the guidance of the teacher. At home or outside the classroom, they can learn practically anywhere and anytime as long as they have access to the recorded lectures, tutorials and online resources on their tablet PCs or laptops.
This means that they can learn at their own pace and convenience. They don’t need to be in school and wait for the teacher to teach them a specific material. This reduces the dependence of students on teachers. By tapping online resources and videos to gain knowledge and understanding, they can pace their learning independently and explore their interests.I believe this would make students want to learn and explore more.
Technology engages today’s digital generation and addresses their various learning styles. Visual and Kinaesthetic learners do not learn well under a lecture approach.
A flipped classroom would mean students have to be technology literate which means they are able to learn and use online tools and resources. I think today’s generation is quite adept and intuitive when it comes to this. Teachers will likely just have to give quick orientations and demonstrations on how to use them.
Students would also have access to videos, websites, and other engaging web resources to give a better understanding of the topic they are studying on. A lecture in class can only do much. But if you combine recorded videos and tutorials with other multimedia resources, the understanding can be wider and deeper.
Being online, they can learn with peers by commenting on online groups and forums created for the different subjects. They can pose their questions there and those who know the answers can help them out. It will also be a platform to share insights and deeper understandings of the material. Cooperative learning can be done online too.
Project ideas can be discussed and collaborated online. Teachers can join in to share their insights and assistance.What we are doing essentially is putting learning in the students hands. We are giving them a bigger responsibility towards learning. They know that they do not need the teacher all the time to access information and knowledge. It’s at their fingertips literally.
How about the teachers? What challenges does the flipped classroom offer them?
For starters, they have to be technology literate. They have to be familiar with the online learning tools and how to integrate them in their classes. Teachers cannot fear technology. We have to make friends with it.
Check out the 101 Web 2.0 learning tools teachers need to be familiar with.
Second, they will need to know how to make recorded tutorials and videos on their subject matter to supplement the other resources online. These recorded lectures and tutorials still needs to impart relevance and engage the students. The videos and tutorials have to be fun to watch.
Third, they need to be great digital citizens. They must be able to interact well with their students online to help them with their questions and correct flawed understandings. Proper online etiquette must be practiced and modeled to the students.Next, they have to create engaging in-class activities that enhances the understanding of a topic. This could be in form of projects, group works, problem solving, and other authentic assessment methods.
Teachers will have to lessen the use of boring worksheets and not so engaging activities. Make the in-class activities as close to real world settings and make it relevant to the students’ lives. What useful thing will they get out of that activity?
In a flipped classroom, there will be a greater demand for the facilitation skills of teachers. Collaborative work and discussions will be in place in the classroom and so teachers will have to facilitate these collaborations and discussions in an efficient manner.
In a student-centered classroom, the teacher will have to teach the students how to work together in groups and how to facilitate small group discussions. So therefore, the teacher has to know first how to do these things.
Finally, the teacher has to keep up with the rapid pace of changes in technology as well as in the field of education. This means teachers have to have personal learning networks and should keep updating their knowledge and skills through formal and informal ways as well as collaborating with other teachers.
For schools, top management has to show support by providing the resources to make the flipped classroom work. This support will come through provision of technology and training to the students and teachers. The good news is that computers and access to the internet is now affordable.
Schools will also have to communicate the benefits of the flipped classroom to parents so that all the stakeholders in this are on the same page.
Parents will need to show support to their kids and to the school by being technology literate themselves so that they can see the benefits of the flipped classroom.
They will have to model the love of learning to their children. They have to play an active role in the education of their children and not just leave it to the teachers and the school.
With a unified support and participation of all the stakeholders, the flipped classroom can be a success and lead to greater development for the country.
Part III of this series will explore actual implementations of the flipped classroom overseas and how it can be adapted into the local setting.
It will also explore the challenges they had to overcome and what best practices they have derived from their implementations. This will give a balanced look at the flipped classroom.
What are your thoughts on the flipped classroom? What are the barriers to its effective implementation? How can we make it work?
Share them in the comments below.