- C.J. Westerberg
The Flipped Class:
What it is and What it is Not
There has been a lot of interest in the flipped classroom. This past week the Flipped Class Conference occurred at Woodland Park High School in Woodland Park Colorado and during the pre-conference a team of flipped teachers got together to write a three-part article about the nature of the Flipped Class. This first article is an attempt to define what the Flipped Class is and what it is NOT.
The traditional definition of a flipped class is:
- Where videos take the place of direct instruction
- This then allows students to get individual time in class to work with their teacher on key learning activities.
- It is called the flipped class because what used to be classwork (the "lecture" is done at home via teacher-created videos and what used to be homework (assigned problems) is now done in class.
But from our perspective, as successful flipped teachers, we believe it is so much more. We also realize there is a lot of mis-information about the Flipped Classroom and quite a bit of controversy about whether or not this is a viable instructional methodology. Thus the purpose of this article is to list out what we believe it is and what we believe it is not.
The Flipped Classroom is NOT:
- A synonym for online videos. When most people hear about the flipped class all they think about are the videos. It is the the interaction and the meaningful learning activities that occur during the face-to-face time that is most important.
- About replacing teachers with videos.
- An online course.
- Students working without structure.
- Students spending the entire class staring at a computer screen.
- Students working in isolation.
The Flipped Classroom IS:
- A means to INCREASE interaction and personalized contact time between students and teachers.
- An environment where students take responsibility for their own learning.
- A classroom where the teacher is not the "sage on the stage", but the "guide on the side".
- A blending of direct instruction with constructivist learning.
- A classroom where students who are absent due to illness or extra-curricular activities such as athletics or field-trips, don't get left behind.
- A class where content is permanently archived for review or remediation.
- A class where all students are engaged in their learning.
- A place where all students can get a personalized education.
In the upcoming second of three articles featured at The Daily Riff tomorrow, we will discuss more in depth how to go about flipping the class and the stages involved in doing so successfully.
Jon Bergmann is one of the first teachers to flip his classroom and has recently co-authored a book on the the Flipped Class which is to be published by ISTE press. He is the Lead Technology Facilitator at the Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, Illinois.
Jerry Overmyer has teaching experience in secondary and college mathematics. He is the coordinator for MAST WebConnect, and provides expertise on quality resources for teachers and students in mathematics and science. He is the creator of the Flipped Class Network.
Brett Wilie is a secondary science teacher from the Dallas, Texas area. Brett has been an educator for 13 years and has been a Science Department Chair for the past 5 years. He has recently been nominated to the "20 Educators to Watch Project" and was recently a presenter at the Flipped Class Conference.
Related Posts The Daily Riff:
Part 2: Are You Ready to Flip? by Dan Spencer, Deb Wolf and Aaron Sams
Part 3: The Flipped Class Revealed: What Does a Good One Look Like
by Jon Bergmann, Jerry Overmyer and Brett Wilie
How the Flipped Classroom is Radically Transforming Learning by Jon Bergmann
Teachers Doing the Flip to Help Students Become Learners
Private School Math Teacher Flips Learning by Stacey Roshan