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Flipping for flipped classrooms: information and brand new research

What’s flipping all about?

The latest blended learning trend, the flipped classroom gives students access to lessons and lectures before class, by watching videos, listening to podcasts, or reviewing material online, and using class time for more engaging activities, and teacher-differentiated instruction in class. While there is no single model, the core idea is to flip the usual approach and remove the teacher from the front of the class, and make the classroom a place to work through problems, collaborate and advance concepts.

 Because it requires self-paced independent work, it tends to be a better fit for students who are middle school, high school, or college. That said, there are ways to flip the elementary classroom. And new research shows that it’s gaining traction nationwide.

What are the upsides of flipping?

In a conference presentation FlipNout, Turning the Traditional Classroom Upside Down, Rachel Kuntz covers the benefits of flipping

For students:

  • Students can pause and rewind their teacher.
  • Struggling students have more time with the teacher.
  • Students who “get it” are able to move on and extend their learning.
  • Students are learning and applying technology skills.
  • Students are more engaged in their work.
  • Students are working collaboratively with each other.

For teachers:

  • Teachers can spend more time with individual groups of students.
  • Teachers can differentiate their instruction.
  • Teachers are able to reach students in their digital language.
  • Teachers work more collaboratively.
  • Teachers are excited about teaching again!

What does the research say?

Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams are flipped classroom pioneers.  Some acknowledge them as the originators of the flipped classroom, even though they don’t take credit themselves. The duo point out that when teachers aren’t standing in front of the classroom talking at students, they can circulate and talk with students – and that drives achievement.  The flipped classroom is an active learning approach supported by research that promotes higher- level thinking skills and 21st Century Skills: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

The Flipped Learning Network™ provides a free Review of Flipped Learning that cites academic research that supports the practice because of its active learning, peer instruction, priming, pre-training, and diverse learning support.

Take a look at an infographic that shows preliminary flipped learning data from a small study – so far, it’s a great experience for both students and teachers.

The very latest research confirms enthusiasm for the trend: “Speak Up 2013 National Research Project Findings: A Second Year Review of Flipped Learning  results from 403,000 interviews shows that  “Students, teachers and administrators are increasingly interested in tapping into digital tools such as video to transform the learning experience. From the 2013 Speak Up research it is also evident that the flipped learning model is gaining the attention of educators who are interesting in improving student achievement and teacher effectiveness by leveraging digital tools to enable innovation.”

Is your school part of this emerging blended learning trend? 

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