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Trend of 'flipping classrooms' helps teachers to personalize education

Published: Sunday, Nov. 25 2012 10:48 p.m. MST

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Coach P
Provo, UT

I believe flipping can be a real good thing, even perhaps s revolutionary thing and actually applicable. But here is the rub.

1) Students need to actually have access to the Internet. This isn't the case, especially for lower socio-economic students.

2) Students need to have a certain amount of background information. There's a lot of downplaying the "sage on the stage" type of teaching but unless students have necessary background information, the sage will still be needed, meaning direct instruction by a teacher in a classroom.

3) Teachers will need to know how to be trained on how to use the flipping concept. They will need to even know how to effectively prepare their own videos.

4) Flipping is a good concept for many students but not all students. Other methods of teaching are still effective for other students.

5) Flipping could have limitations for ESL and special education students. Seeing a presentation over and over via the Internet doesn't help when you don't understand the language or have a disability that would prevent learning effectively in that modality.

But yet, as a teacher I'm open to the concept but I think it still has some limitations.

wazzup??
Provo, UT

They are also trying a similar approach at inner city schools in California using the Khan Academy. They have a night lab where students and parents can attend and have access to the Internet as well as teachers as the student is working through the instructional part.. In school, quizzes and assignments are given online to where the teach hers see immediate results and deficiencies to where they instruct the students individually on what they don't know instead of guessing or delaying some sort of intervention as it exists in traditional instruction. I like ithe concept so far but I still need to see results.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

All day in class. All night in lecture, at home, when kids are tired and need a break to play and enjoy enriching extracurricular activities. People who advocate for this have little idea about what children need and have little regard for the value of family time.

This isn't about providing better options for kids. This is about the likes of Bill Gates selling devices and software. Salman Khan is a hedge fund manager, who is generously subsidized by Bill Gates. AT&T and Rupert Murdoch are on the bandwagon, s well. Mining public education funds for private profits is the goal. Children are the guinea pigs for this experiment.

Also consider, Paul E. Peterson, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University, who is a big fan of the flipped classroom, has stated that we don't need a lot of good teachers, only a few that we can video and put online. Then, schools can save a lot of money by hiring less-qualified aids, to help kids do their homework, during the day at school. Do we really want to reduce our education system to watching videos and babysitting? "Turning learning upside down," indeed.

Pete1215
Lafayette, IN

Midwest Mom has a point. If a student had 5 flipped classes, the expectation would be that the student would watch up to 5 hours of lecture at night, then attend school all day the next day, then up to 5 hours of lecture, etc. I would be surprised if this works over time.

one old man
Ogden, UT

This is socialism and it will lead to total moral depravity. This is what happens when you allow liberals to infest our schools.

(Just thought I'd save some typing for some of our regular ultra-conservative posters.)

my 2 cents worth
West Jordan, UT

This, like so many other educational "fixes", works only if the parents are invested. Many are not. So this is another great way to lose a lot of students in the cracks.

annewandering
oakley, idaho

We had classes like this in college even back in my day, 1970 or so, and I discovered something real fast. It is harder to learn. There is no give or take and your attention can wander. Think about this. Is a teacher up there to give a canned lecture or do they use the classroom and interaction to enhance the lessons?
It is very boring to just listen and watch a person give a flat lecture. It is close to the worst possible way to learn.

Oatmeal
Woods Cross, UT

Flipping works best when the online presentation/lecture is under 20 minutes (I keep mine under 10 minutes) and there is about 20 minutes of writing or practice to reinforce the learning. That is about 40 minutes of homework.

The strength is the students dictate the time and place, the pace, can replay portions they don't understand and use the videos as review later in the year. But supportive parents and technological access are necessities with this method. Technological access isn't really a big concern for me. You'd be astonished at how many poor students have the latest phones and internet access. But NO teaching method works well without supportive parents.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

This sure sounds a lot like homeschooling.

If kids learn better at home, why send them to a school at all? Why not get the lectures online and do away with the brick and mortar school building?

azgal
Buckeye, AZ

This is SO SO SO SO important to have EVERYTHING captioned/subtitled onscreen. It could be dangerous for those students who struggle to hear, and/or have parents who don't hear.

I like the concept - it needs to be mixed up, to be sure --- not ALL the time and certainly NOT for ALL the classes, but I do like the idea of making the instruction time at home (where parents can watch/learn along) and then the actual practice time with the teacher in class to guide them/reteach certain portions.

This has the additional advantage that students who already know how to do this particular exercise can just go to practice, while those for whom the concept is totally foreign can watch it a few more times to familiarize themselves with the material, instead of the teacher "overteaching" the "smart" ones, boring them to death, and "underteaching" the ones who don't get it yet, leaving them behind their peers.

raybies
Layton, UT

Not only do families need internet. They need MULTIPLE means to access the internet, or else your family ends up fighting for the computer all the time because each of the kids has homework.

(Already happening at my house... kind of annoying... but I'm not giving my kids their own computers... regardless.)

PeaceLove&Happiness
Draper, UT

Thanks to all above for your comments. When I first read this article, it sounded like a good idea and I was going to send to our school board. After reading your many good points, I am rethinking. I would like to learn more about the pros and cons of this idea.

Random
Redlands, CA

My seventh-grade son's science teacher does this. He shot the video, so it is him explaining in the lecture. He explained at back-to-school night that this allows them to have labs and do fun things during class. If the kids understand the lecture the first time, they don't need to watch again, but if they need a bit of time to write it down, and internalize it, they have time to do that. Because the teacher is the one giving recording the lectures, he is the one the kids can ask for help the next day. It works for his class and as a parent, I'd rather have my son doing something productive on the computer. The teacher also keeps the lectures online to 15 minutes.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

One Old Man, really? If this teaching idea where students watch a lecture from home and work on math problems at school is socialism, I'm wondering what you think capitalistic math instruction looks like? Or communist math instruction? Or fascist math instruction? Please enlighten us.

Coach P
Provo, UT

I haven't started flipping as a teacher but want to investigate it further. I would agree that any "lecture" or lesson should be in the 10-20 minute time frame--for a lot of reasons. My daughter's math teacher uses these Kahn lessons. Just because he's rich and has a hedge fund doesn't stop them from being valuable if they are well done. They have helped her and us as parents as we try to learn some things so we can help her. As I said originally, flipping has many drawbacks or challenges or obstacles. It isn't the solution to all that ails education. It is a small piece of the pie but it also doesn't mean that the idea doesn't have some value because parents don't want their children to do too much homework or God forbid a rich person came up with an idea that could help students learn...

Teacher123
Centennial, CO

Flipping does not negate the necessity of a good teacher! In fact, a teacher who is prepared to individually meet the needs of an entire class is necessary. The videos (5-10 minutes) are "front loading" of information. Students come to class more prepared to ask questions and practice the concepts. Teaching still occurs in this model. Flipping allows the teacher to spend more time working one on one with individual students., meeting their individual learning needs. In order for this time to be productive, a great teacher is necessary.

For those teachers or parents that think "flipping" is easy, you are wrong. It is more work! Teachers who choose a flipped classroom do so because they feel it is the best way to meet their students' needs.

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