This morning I am attending a workshop on flipping the classroom at ISTE 2012. Never hurts to get all the additional info you can. This morning's presenters are Rebecca Evans and Kate Kanach.
If you haven't heard of flipping the classroom, it's not actually a new concept, but it has taken on a life of its own in the past two years. I have posted several articles on it in the past. If you want to check them out, check the tags at the left.
Flipping the classroom entails changing your traditional lectures to a video format and posting them online as homework. Then face to face classroom time can be used to focus on hands on activities, practice, and guided instruction through inquiry. Think Salman Khan (Khan Academy) for homework, and homework as classwork. That's an extremely simplified view, but hopefully you get the picture.
Back to our presenters, one of the things they stressed in their presentation is that some statistics show that student test scores go up in the flipped model of instruction. They also point out that flipping encourages teamwork and 21st century skills, as students work in teams more frequently, and utilize more technology skills. The caveat to this, they say is that some teachers are Leary of this modl because they are no longer the center of attention. It does take you off center stage. But remember: it's not about you, it's about the kids.
If you check out their website, they have provided a wealth of articles and resources. They provide examples of how they have setup their classroom, and provide a sample unit so teachers can see and understand the flow of a flipped lesson. Something they have done, and what needs to be pointed out here is that the "homework" doesn't always have to be a video, it can be a Prezi, a PowerPoint, or other interactive content. They use Edmodo to post their lessons and questions.
When doing class in this manner, you have to realize that student projects will build interpersonal skills and will allow students more variety in the ways they produce work. As they do work, they will be there with you and they will have the benefit of your help. Likewise, you will benefit by being able to observe them at work.
The presenters also pointed out something I feel is important. It is not always necessary or proper to flip every lesson. But it will work with most things. Also, check out "Flip Your Classroom" from ISTE. This book provides a great deal of insight from flipping pioneers Bergmann & Sams.
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