Flipped Classroom

This is for those who understand that education cannot be reduced to any one strategy or be restricted to a rigid framework; for those who support choices when it comes to your children’s education. Education is about meeting a child’s learning needs through creative and flexible instruction. That is why Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams developed the Flipped Classroom model. This is a method, initially termed Reverse Instruction, that essentially flips the current paradigm by sending kids home with lecture material as homework and spending classroom time in interactive review material usually reserved as homework.

Examine the model of the status quo – where students are required to bring hours of schoolwork back home, where homework must compete with all the comforts of home, namely the television and computer screen. In addition, the student is left to compile conundrum upon conundrum as he attempts to complete the assignments on his own, without peer review, interaction, or teacher feedback and correction. No wonder this is a struggle.
According to Bergmann and Sams’ The Flipped Class Blog, the reasoning for this innovative new strategy was developed with these observations in mind. The flipped classroom model addresses these problems as a twofold cure. First, instead of a competition vying homework against the electronic screen, the flipped classroom model embraces this common medium of our generation. Students get to “watch TV” for homework by viewing podcast lectures, power-point presentations, content-rich websites, and educational videos, all at their own pace. If they are the interactive type, they can then discuss what they are learning from home through chat rooms, blogs, and vlogs. The User Generated Education blog written by Jackie Gerstien, Ed.D. applauds this model’s use of technology to take lecture out of the classroom and into the hands of students.
Secondly, the classroom environment changes drastically. Suddenly, instead of boring lectures and busywork, the classroom is alive and active. The students are engaged in what would have otherwise been homework. Hands-on and tactile students especially benefit, as they do not have to struggle to sit still and listen for any length of time. As students apply learned material to their work, they have the support of peer discussion and teacher instruction. If students have questions about the material, there is much more time for the teacher to clarify and give examples. 
David Truss of the acclaimed Connected Principles education blog agrees that when this strategy is well-done, it is a great use of time for collaboration, problem-solving, practice.  However, he does warn that quality must not be sacrificed for the convenience of this model, as would be the temptation for some.  This does not transform the teacher’s role from teacher to mere facilitator.  Instead, production quality has the chance to increase due to the increased accountability as students have the opportunity to put pencil to paper under the direct tutelage of the teacher.
Multiple education news and blog websites, such as The Daily Riff and the ones mentioned in this article, have found there is so much interest in this method that they have recently added strings of new posts about the Flipped Classroom. Parents and teachers alike who are interested in the betterment of student education should look into the Flipped Classroom model as an option to meet student needs.
Completed through a client on Textbroker.com on 09/13/11.

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