Flipping the Classroom

By: Marinela D. Serna

There have been ideas on how to employ ICT in education. Many have made it a teaching aid, utilizing it as an audio-visual learning tool inside the classroom. Coupled with the internet for downloading videos, this way of using ICT tools is becoming more common place. Teachers and parents are now making 32-inch LED TV one of the essential upgrades for a classroom. Being able to readily show video clips, documentaries, and a lot more multimedia is really helpful in facilitating learning. This assumption is backed by many studies including local researches. Zacal (2014) confirmed this in his study that experimented on students’ performance when multimedia is integrated to the teaching learning process compared to the traditional teaching of Trigonometry. It was found that although the traditional and multimedia approach both had significant increase in their test scores, the difference in the magnitude of difference favors the multimedia.

But all of these should be taken with a grain of salt, as I have observed that using multimedia in the classroom has its drawbacks. One of these drawbacks concerns learners not really giving videos attention. There are always learners who tune out of the video presentation. The biggest drawback comes from the reduced time of engagement between the teacher and learners. If the teacher is not experienced with technology, valuable time is often lost on technical troubles. In addition, the teacher uses the same video for a class of different level. Multimedia in classrooms makes learning more passive, less engaged and participative to the detriment of the teaching and learning process. Balance should be struck between using videos in the classroom for instructional purposes.

There is, however, a different take on how to fully utilize video lesson and still fully engage the learner in the classroom. This is called flipping the classroom. In this set-up the teacher prepares instructional videos which will then be assign for viewing at home. This viewing can be done on their cellphones, the home TV, or streamed in the internet. The assigned video will tackle everything the students need to know. When they come into the class, the teacher will then give questions, worksheets or other learning activities that relies on the content of the video viewed at home.

In this way, the teacher does not need to spend time discussing the content of the topic, as it was discussed in the video. In school, the students can now work on the learning task and the teacher can readily facilitate and guide learners, especially those who are trying hard to keep-up with the lesson.

Traditional model has students attending school where content is delivered by teachers and students going home to work on problems. But here, we are getting rid of that model and replacing it with a flipped model. In the flipped model, students work on problems when they are at school and when students are at home, content is delivered online or offline.

The first thing most educators are going to ask is why flip?Well here are acouple reasons to consider:

  • With aflipped classroom, the content becomes available to students beyond typical classroom time; students are now able to access the content anytime.
  • Benefit that comes with viewing content in videoformat is the ability to stop pause play etc.
  • Students can write down questions about the content at home then when students enter the classroom they are already prepared to ask these questions to their teacher
  • When the teacher flips a classroom that teacher is able to walk around the room. Ultimately flipping a classroom frees up time for teachers to work with students individually.

Now let’s take a quick break to think about how our students are used to acquiring knowledge. Students of today mostly learn from their phones and computers. Students of today are comfortable with the flipped model because they are familiar with video playback. Lastly, we know some students learn faster than others. Flipping a classroom allows teachers to personalize learning.

But how do you flip a classroom? What steps should you take right now?

  • The first step in flipping aclassroom begins with the body, get your students, parents and administrators onboard with the flipped model.
  • Curate the resources you need toflip a classroom, these are resources for instruction such as YouTube video, online worksheets, quizzes, electronics etc.
  • Classroom management is required for a flipped model just like a traditional model. Very early on be sure to spend time and incorporate expectations and procedures as this learning style may be new.
  • Technology training: teachers need tolearn how to curate videos through YouTube channels and create playlists and students must be able to access and interact with online content now we get to the actual flipping
  • Assigned content for homework. Students will access content through videos online or offline.
  • Students work on problems during class time. Students get to work on the application of skills in class where ateacher walks around the room and facilitates and help students as needed.
  • Independent learning with a flipped classroom: Students become independent learners and have the ability to move to the curriculum at their own pace.

There may be some push back on the part of the stakeholders, but remember every learner needs quality time of instruction. Indeed, there will be problems and difficulties in implementing this, but technology provides us with work arounds.