As the flipping revolution in education continues to become more mainstream, you may be wondering how you can incorporate this style of instruction into your classroom.
The flipped model—which is driven by students watching a video lesson for homework and then spending the bulk of class time working on problems and activities—is transforming the role of a teacher in the 21st Century.
The benefits of the flipped model include more time for activities and collaboration, students being able to work at their own pace, and teachers getting to,well, teach (rather than delivering the same lecture over and over again).
But, despite the benefits, many teachers view the practice as unachievable in their own classroom.
The apprehension is understandable. Revolutionizing the way you teach comes with inherent risks and uncertainties that may prevent you from making the flip.
If you are intrigued by the potential of flipping, but are struggling with the anxiety of taking on the challenge or simply can’t figure out where to start: It’s easier and more doable than you think!
While the following tips do not encompass every aspect of effectively flipping your classroom, they will help you to overcome some of the fears and start you on the path to shifting the focus in your classroom from teaching to learning!
1.) You're Not Alone
Flipping your classroom can be intimidating and it’s important to remember that you are not in this alone. When you begin to experiment with flipping, let your fellow teachers, administrators, students and their parents know what you are doing and, more importantly, why you decided to do it. People will be more supportive of your endeavor and more accommodating of any missteps if they know that your intention is to create a learning environment that is better suited to meet the unique needs of every student.
2.) Expect Some Resistance
People are afraid of change. You need to prepare yourself for resistance from students and parents who are devoted to traditional models of instruction. Such resistance can be overcome by informing students and parents why you have chosen to implement a flipped model and how it can enrich the educational experience. The first few weeks of flipping may be shaky, but your commitment will pay off in the long run, as early resistors often become ardent supporters once they see concrete results.
3.) Start Small
Teachers often avoid flipping due to the substantial amount of time, effort, and energy it takes to completely transform all of their materials and lesson plans. For anyone who shares this feeling, here’s some good news: You can start small and flip only one unit or even just one lesson! Think about a unit or concept that is particularly difficult to teach and consider flipping only those lessons. If the experience is positive, then you can continue to flip future units as you move through the school year.
4.) Take Advantage of YouTube
Another source of anxiety for those who are considering flipping their classroom is the demand for creating video content. Many teachers either lack the time or are simply not comfortable with filming and editing video. Luckily, there are tons of high-quality and standard-based video lessons that can be accessed for free on YouTube. Some awesome examples include MashUp Math, ASAP Science, and National Geographic.
5.) Use Some Tools
As flipped education becomes more conventional, more tech companies are producing apps and software that is specifically designed to make flipping the classroom easier for educators. One particular application, WeVideo, is a simple, yet powerful, platform that allows teachers and students to create engaging educational videos. Adobe Spark is another effective video-creation app. Similar to Microsoft PowerPoint, you can use simple drag-and-drop skills to create captivating video lessons from your desktop computer or mobile phone.
6.) Use Student Feedback
If you're flipping for the first time, then prepare to make mistakes…lots of them! Plan time to debrief with students and to collect feedback. Implementing an experimental model will require frequent course corrections and student feedback will be valuable. Effective flippers have regular debriefing sessions with students to formatively assess their experiences and to dictate future instruction.
7.) Embrace the Challenge
Flipping your classroom will be a challenge and you can count on a few missteps along the way, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort! Remember that flipping your classroom is not about technology; it’s about transforming education and redefining the role of the teacher. Becoming a flipped educator will not diminish your role as an educator--it will enhance it!
And your students will reap the benefits of a superior learning experience, while you may just rediscover your love of teaching at the same time!
By Anthony Persico
Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.