As so frequently happens in every school, there are many students who are absent all too frequently. These students are absent for various reasons, such as sporting commitments, musical rehearsals, illness, or simply disorganised parents. These students would normally be given work that they had to catch up on and would quickly fall behind. NOT with a flipped classroom. With a flipped classroom these students can still access all the content at home and at least begin to attempt to do the higher-order thinking as well.
It helps students of all ability levels because they are in control. If you watch a video, you might pause it to write notes, rewind a section that you didn’t quite get or as I often do, put the video on double speed. This can be done with the video, audio, or even just reading, as many people read and re-read at a different speed. This allows students with different levels of pre-knowledge to cover the lower levels of learning at their faster pace (it will also allow for greater differentiation in the classroom as students work through your activities at their own pace as well, especially if you utilise the flipped mastery approach.
Flipped learning will even help students who struggle with English. they can slow down the videos, reread content, or even turn on closed captions (TIP put your videos on YouTube and allow them to do the closed captions for you).
Flipped learning will increase interactions with your students as well as their interactions with each other. Because you are no longer standing at the front presenting for an extended period of time you are free to spend more time with your students talking with them, reading their work, and getting to know them as learners and on a personal level.
This increased knowledge of your students then allows for real differentiation because you will know where they are with their learning, where they are going, as well as their interests and their personal life, allowing you to make the learning more meaningful by helping to connect knowledge and develop understanding through real-life connectivity.
Flipped learning is going to change the way that you manage your classroom. Because you are no longer at the front presenting you will not need your students to be quiet for extended amounts of time. This means you don’t have to keep everyone quiet so others can listen. It allows you to provide them with more freedom to talk with each other, to collaborate, and learn in a more natural environment. Some teachers find this scary. Letting go of complete control when you are used to it, can make us nervous, but students will begin to enjoy the learning as you provide more engaging activities, giving them more practical lessons and opportunities to be successful in their learning.
By sending the content home you are making it accessible to parents. Parents can and will watch the videos with their children. It allows parents to be involved in their child’s learning, helping to correct any misunderstandings because they have the same access as their child. By increasing parent involvement you will also increase your student’s motivation in the classroom.
Flipped learning allows you to invert Bloom’s taxonomy. In a traditional classroom, you spend a lot of time at the bottom of the taxonomy, doing shallow thinking such as identifying or regurgitating knowledge, but when you flip your classroom the shallow thinking is done on their own either at home or in some other independent space. Instead, you will have time to do higher-order thinking, such as creating, analyzing or evaluating. Helping students create an actual understanding of the content, not just know it. What’s more, you are there to help them. Students require much more feedback for the deep work than they do for the shallow thinking and now you are available during class time to help them with this.
The last reason you should flip your classroom is to increase class time for rich, engaging, and meaningful learning. Current research tells us that around 80% of teachers spend 80% of their class time talking. With flipped learning, this can be reversed! Think of all those fun, exciting, and meaningful learning activities you have always wanted to do in your classroom but never had the time for.
Now you have that time!
This really can revolutionize the way that you teach and I for one, am a huge fan of this approach because I’ve seen it in action. I’ve used it to change my classrooms and the changes have been fantastic. Students begin to take ownership of their learning and develop their skills and passions to become lifelong learners.