5 ways to make sure flipping the classroom isn’t a flop

Educators are flipping classrooms by having students learn new material at home and complete "homework" in class.

Educators are flipping classrooms by having students learn new material at home and complete “homework” in class.

The flipped classroom is going to get more important in the future of education. With shrinking budgets, the overhead of school technology will soon be replaced with the bring-your-own-device trend. And the overhead of the school itself will be removed by not having a school! Well, that may be going a bit far, but schools are certainly starting down that path.

The idea behind flipped classrooms is that teachers have their students learn at home by watching videos and then come prepared to do “homework” in class. Some teachers say this method works better because instructors are right there to answer questions and make sure kids understand important concepts. Studies have shown that flipped classrooms also increase student engagement, improve test scores and lower stress levels.

Making a successful flip
Teachers may be overwhelmed by the idea at first, but they shouldn’t flip out! Flipping your classroom is a big change, and can be a lot of work up front, but it is also rewarding. Transitioning gradually or partially to a flipped model can still have a huge impact. Here are a few tips to get things rolling smoothly:

  1. Start off simple. Find or create one or two instructional videos and develop a set of learning objectives for kids. Have them come to class ready to do homework. Instructors can teach mini-lessons during class if they feel students aren’t grasping certain concepts.
  2. Use video tools. Sites like YouTube, Brain Pop, Khan Academy and LearnZillion can help you make videos or find resources to share in your class.
  3. Make sure students know how to access materials. Some students may not have the internet at home. Others may just be confused about accessing the lesson. Make sure you explain how to access the material. If you teach in a low-income school, maybe there’s a program or grant that can help get students tablets or devices they can use at home.
  4. Modify lessons for different students. Younger students, special education students and others may need a slightly different teaching style. Make sure you incorporate additional video lessons, written notes or other materials that could help those students.
  5. Get parents involved. They can help keep kids on track and make sure they’re doing their learning at home.

Teachers should also use classroom management strategies to measure student learning, make sure students are watching videos at home and that they understand the material.

Do you know any teachers or kids who have been involved in a flipped classroom? What was their experience like? Please share your comments here or on our Facebook page.

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.