Sunday, August 14, 2011

Flipping Without a Classroom

"Flipping the Classroom" is literally flipping what is traditionally done at school with what is traditionally done at home.  Imagine a teacher as a learning coach, a guide, and learner themselves.  Instead of lecturer, and presenter of material, in a flipped classroom, the teacher presents information via video.  The students watch the pre-recorded lessons at home, and when they are in class, with the teachers, and other students, they work on homework, prepare for tests, participate in labs, get help, and assist other students with hands on activities and directed problem solving.  A flipped classroom may be a bit like a three ring circus, but like a circus, everyone has a role, and is a vital participate.
While at the ISTE Conference this summer, I had the opportunity to attend a session hosted by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams.  They are the creators of the "Flipped Classroom," and are literally flipping education.  While listening intently to what they were saying, I took notes on my ipad, read an article about how they were transforming learning, and joined their vodcasting website; multitasking at its best.  Like many other teachers, I was inspired.
Here are my reactions:
1.  This is awesome.
2.  I want to share this with as many teachers as possible.
3.  I cannot wait to get home to create some videos.
4.  Question:  How do you "flip" without a classroom?
Here is how I plan to address the question in #4:
I teach in an alternative, already online, setting.  Our students come to campus for meetings, appointments, workshops, tests, and labs.  Our students have their course material at their fingertips, as they are online learners.  So, how can I implement this?  Our students meet with Instructional Supervisors once a month to discuss goals, overall progress, and to establish fieldwork opportunities in the community.  Our students also come to campus to meet with their content teachers to receive help with writing, conduct labs, and attend workshops, office hours, and tutorials.  Imagine how much more powerful these meetings will be if the students prepare for them before they attend.  If there is a workshop conducted on college preparation or the application process, the students and their parents can view the "lecture" side of the presentation, and then when they are on campus spend time with their teachers working on the material.  These meetings can be flipped.  Imagine while teaching Islamic poetry as part of the integrated middle school History and English course, the students view a video on the quatrain, themes, history behind the poems, and then when they attend the face to face workshop, they are prepared with questions, and are ready to work on the project assigned.   
I would love to see as many teachers as possible connect and re-connect to to their students and their role as a "flipped" educator and learner.  I would also love to hear how other teachers in alternative settings are flipping their schools. 
Check out the links below, and keep in touch as you "flip" with or without a classroom.