The Flipped Classroom

August 24, 2012 - 0 Comments

Just been reading a white paper from Cisco about the Flipped Classroom – linked here for download FlippedClassroomWhitepaper_D8_V5.

The paper describes how the teaching and learning model used around the world today has it roots in the 18th century.  This is based the premise that lessons are delivered in real time by teachers and lecturers and then students do further study and review the content.  Following is an extract from the paper which sets the scene.

“For the first 19 years of his career in education, Jon Bergman–like most educators–rarely had the time to speak to more than a few students each day in his high school chemistry classes. His teaching model followed the conventions established generations ago: Standing at the front of his classroom, he delivered lectures to students who furiously scribbled notes. He presented homework each evening, which was briefly reviewed the next day in class before beginning a new lab. Students who quickly grasped the concepts Bergman presented did well enough on tests to pass his class; those who struggled or were reticent to ask for help did not.
But six years ago, Bergman and fellow educator Aaron Sams–then teaching in Woodland Park, Colorado–had an epiphany: Instead of relying on their lectures to cover the material, they began capturing their lessons on video.  Given their school’s rural, economically diverse population (with 20 percent lacking high-speed Internet access), the pair burned the videos onto DVDs that students could watch at home. In this way, students who were unable to understand the lessons the first time were able to review them as many times as needed to fully grasp the material–without worrying about holding back the class, or appearing slow.
By “flipping the classroom” in this fashion–having students review teacher-created video content outside the classroom, and reserving class periods for assignments they previously did at home–Bergman and Sams empowered their students to take charge of their own learning, at their own pace. As a result, students were able to complete 50 percent more labs during class time, and test scores increased dramatically. Bergman and Sams have since implemented the model at the Chicago high school where both now teach, with the same results.”

Today with so many opportunties for teachers to place resources online which can be accessed any time – the concept of the flipped classroom has in my view, much to offer. But as with most new innovations this is not “an all or nothing” opportunity,  I see it more as another methodology that teachers can use to complement their existing tool set.  This not so much a revolution as an evolution which should be exploited as and when it will bring added value to the learning situation.

I do think that there is a responsibility on education authorities ( governments, districts and local authorities) to ensure that this sort of approach can be exploited for the greater benefit of learner throughout the world.  It may be that these agencies are the enablers by providing the support, services and training to help teachers engage with this type of approach.

Follow this link to see another page of resources in this context

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.