Feb 27, 2012

Flipping the Classroom...continued

I have posted a few articles regarding Flipping the Classroom in the past, but recently a colleague and I were talking about it again.  It seems that when I mention the idea of flipping, most teachers express little interest.  Not until now have I spoken with someone that wanted to try it. 

For those of you that have never heard of it, flipping the classroom is a bit of a departure from traditional teaching methods.  The way most of us learned in the classroom (and still teach), instruction is given in the classroom and then homework is assigned for, well...home.  With flipping the classroom, teachers have found that if they make "homework" about instruction and set aside classroom time for hands on practice, labs, and drill activities, students benefit more, because they get more one on one time with the teacher.  As well, they benefit from more group oriented tasks, such as collaborative projects and labs. 

How do you do instruction as "homework"?  The answer is to record instructional lectures as video and to post them online, either on YouTube, Vimeo, or a teacher created website.  As we spoke about the process, we got into the discussion of what would be needed.  Here are a few resources:

Video Production:

  • CamStudio - http://camstudio.org/ - free resource similar to Camtasia.  This resource allows you to capture screencasts.
  • Moviemaker - Available on Windows XP - if you like to record your videos the old way, use a video camera and upload your videos to your computer.  Then use Camtasia for editing.
  • Explain Everything - iPad App ($2.99) - Explain and record from your ipad, then upload to web.

After production, upload your videos to YouTube, Vimeo or your own website.   Try these links for creating your own Teacher Website:

These are just a few links to create a website.  There are tons of others available on the web.  Just be aware of your ability to upload different file types and be aware of pricing. 

Once you have created your videos, students can view them at night for homework.  What I would have given to have told my parents that my homework was to watch videos.  The big hook is that you have to make sure your students have access to the internet and the videos you are putting out on the web are available in a format they can view.  If students are viewing them on a mobile device, remember that Apple products cannot view Flash, so you might think about using a QuickTime or MP4 Format. 

The great thing about making this switch is that once your students have done their homework and watched your videos, they come to class ready to do hands-on practice.  If you're just not sure about it, here are a few articles on the process and successes different teachers have had with it:

The Daily Riff - http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/how-the-flipped-classroom-is-radically-transforming-learning-536.php

The Chronicle of Higher Education - http://chronicle.com/article/How-Flipping-the-Classroom/130857/

Salman Khan on flipping the Classroom - http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html

The Flipped Classroom