EduGeeks & Dinosaurs attack the Flipped Classroom

For many reading this, the Flipped classroom is a newish idea with possibilities. For a number of EduGeeks it’s passe and uncool to talk about and for the traditional dinosaurs, it’s miss-read as something they’ve been doing for 20 years. In fact, it is still an important first step into 21st Century teaching and as long as it remains just a first step, I wish the EduGeeks & Dinosaurs would stop attacking it.

The simplified view is:

  1. Record lessons as videos to post online
  2. Students watch videos for homework
  3. Students do homework tasks (confirm understanding) in the classroom.

But here’s a better list of what really can happen:

  1. The video lessons are available to watch whenever (classroom or home). I use the iPad app “Explain Everything” to make the videos (see apps);
  2. A forum is setup to discuss each video, post questions to the group or teacher and colaborate in general 24/7;
  3. Teaching becomes one-to-one in class based on the forum activity;
  4. Now the lessons are free of full-class teaching, more demanding tasks are set over a number of lessons (with a deadline and objectives) that allow students to prove various understandings in any appropriate way that suits;
  5. If it suits the topic, teams are organised to bring together different talents in the group;
  6. Enough tablets or computers in the class allow for a wide variety of products / output;
  7. Evidence can be videos/documentaries, animations, comics, interactive ebooks (I find all of these more effective than asking for presentations/keynotes);
  8. The final evidence is then posted to the class forum to allow for peer review. This has been proven to improve the quality of student work;
  9. Work and learning is done at the individual pace of each student and at a time that best suits;
  10. I even allow students to study other subjects’ material in my lesson if it makes more sense to do so. (Students, unfortunately still have standardised tests for other subjects in the next period);
  11. Students appreciate the ownership they have of their learning and my job’s a lot more fun;

This isn’t quite the full dream of 21st Century learning. It is normally based on set content rather than allowing students to base their inquiries on more recent and relevant material for the world they live in now, but it’s a bloody good start! Any teacher should be commended for making the first steps towards student-centred learning within the confines of their probably traditional school structure, rather than dismissed as either susceptible to fads or even ‘old-hat!’ (bloody EduGeeks!)

For more info, visit the various sites on the subject you”ll find with a Google search or try the #flipclass discussion on Twitter.


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