Flipped Classroom

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time now, but never actually sat down and type in my thoughts about this “hot” item (you can find the complete infograph here). I found the theory very appealing. It got me thinking about the way we teach today and the image above, actually says it well. Instead of lecturing your way from one class to the next, the flipped classroom lets you interact with your students. They have to engage with each other and take on a more active roll in their everyday class attitude. In order for them to do this, they actually have to read, watch, listen to content the evening before, so they’ll be ready to work with the lesson materials. So instead of explaining something and then letting the students work on an assignment, they “learn” the necessary information in advance and engage with others in order to “master” the content. Magnificent. Finally a theory that stops preaching the teacher-centered role in the classroom. The student-centered aspect of the flipped classroom is just great! Students work with the information, students figure out what to do with an exercise, the talk about it with each other!

One person who has been pioneering this, is Salman Khan. The Khan Academy is truly a great project, I hope they can really bring change to the classroom in the near future… In the little video <click!> (CBS News) the man and the project are explained. Make sure to watch the practical example at 6:00, when CBS News visits a pilot school in Los Altos. Here you can see students working and the teacher helping them when needed. She is non-intrusive, lets the students work and intervenes when problems occur. Khan Academy enables the teacher to, in one look, have an idea of which students are “on track” and which aren’t. This “repositioning” of the teacher is not a simple task, I think. However, it is a necessary one.

This form of networked learning is consistent with the theory of connectivism, I think. Students working with each other, being able to look things up on the internet, sharing information,… it’s in this way true learning occurs. A deeper understanding of whatever they are studying. Isn’t this what we want as teachers? Our students being able to figure things out on their own and being able to learn independently? Something to consider…

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