“We need to change. Not because kids are failing but because the world is changing.” – Sean Junkins
This is one of the best articles I have read about the flipped classroom in a long time. The flipped classroom strategy is not one I learned from a text book or a university lecture, but one I found on-line. I have connected myself to educators all over world, who are passionate about the incorporation of technology in their classroom. More however, the importance of meaningful technology in the classroom. My own downfall is that I only can teach what I know, and when you look at the world of information that surrounds us, why would I ever want to limit my students to what I know?
What I have learned from my education classes is that I am expected to teach to eight multiple intelligences, six common essential learnings and numerous learning styles. What I have discovered as a pre-service teacher is that my teaching is also limited by the way I learn and communicate. Therefore, I can not appeal to all of my students, nor can I even come close to doing so in a sixty minute lesson. What I know from researching the flipped class is that I can teach to a wider variety of multiple intelligences and learning styles in a more condensed time. By teaching my children how to navigate the internet and learn for themselves, they will naturally gravitate to the websites that help them learn specifically. My linguistic students will find articles and journals. My visual students will find videos. My logical students will find chemistry calculators. My musical students will find the “periodic table song” and so on. If we are going to be honest with ourselves, we should understand that we can not possibly get through to all of these learners as effectively as the internet can. So, my goal would be to “guild learning” instead of “teaching,” although they are really one in the same.
I know the flipped classroom comes with its challenges but so does the traditional classroom. Good classroom management is at the heart of every effective learning environment and I believe the challenges of the flipped classroom can be overcome by effective classroom management. There is a difference between students who are entertained and those who are engaged. Students engagement is directly proportional to the relevance of the lesson. If students do not know why they are learning something they will have no desire to learn it. I would hope that my classroom would be filled with smart phones and ipads being used to problem solve, that’s what they are there for. Social media and social networking sites sometimes get bad reputation within the education field. The only way that schools will allow cell phone usage and invest in better technology is if we teach students how to use technology to benefit themselves and be deeper learners. Once administration sees the potential for learning through the use of a cell phone or an ipad, they will less overcome by the possible “distraction” these tools might cause. We need to develop the positive aspects of technology in schools rather then try to criminalize what schools see as the negative aspects of technology.
I worry that my future employers will have a negative view on the flipped classroom because it requires communication and on-line navigation. The flipped classroom allows teachers to spend more time teaching students how to learn instead of teaching them a specific subject through lecture or other means. Students who embrace a flipped classroom will know how to learn and find information effectively, which is a skill that we absolutely need to survive in the 21st century society.
What have been the greatest outcomes of flipping your classroom?
What has been the most challenging aspect?