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7 Steps to Flipping Your Classroom Today


7 Steps to Flipping Your Classroom Today

       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 MathASAP 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.



5 Tips for Teachers Starting a YouTube Channel


5 Tips for Teachers Starting a YouTube Channel

Imagine if your students could revisit any class lesson online and on demand.

Imagine if your students could revisit any class lesson online and on demand.

Are you a teacher looking to start your own YouTube channel to share your lessons with students inside and outside of the classroom?     

Our students have always had access to the internet and they use it as their go-to-source for finding answers to whatever question may pop into their heads. For a teacher, competing with a vast sea of content and sources of information can seem intimidating. However, never forget the incredible advantage that you hold when it comes to your students—they have a real human relationship with you and they trust you. 

     While many teachers have their own websites, blogs, and twitter accounts, they miss the mark by not providing video content in the form of filmed lessons, webinars, and other eLearning opportunities. The benefits of sharing instructional video lessons that reflect you and your classroom are many. A student can return to class from an absence completely caught up after watching the lessons online while she was at home. Another student who is stuck on a homework problem can revisit the lesson from earlier in the school day. While yet another student can watch a lesson from the week prior to assist him while studying for tomorrow’s exam.

Online video lessons allow an absent student to learn from home.

Online video lessons allow an absent student to learn from home.

I get it: having an online presence sounds great, but what teacher has the time for creating videos and running a YouTube channel? This concern is fair, but following these 5 time-saving steps will allow you to reap the benefits of sharing video content with your students without consuming large amounts of your time, energy, or money:

1.) Use YouTube

YouTube is by far the most popular online video-sharing network. It is easy to use and I guarantee that every one of your students is a routine visitor. In fact, a recent study showed that 74% of teens prefer YouTube over FaceBook and Twitter. Students should be encouraged to subscribe to your channel, but they can still view the lessons even if they are not. YouTube videos are easily shared via email and can be embedded within your personal teacher website. The only thing that you will need to create your own channel is a Gmail account, which is free.

2.) Use Your SmartPhone

    Want some good news? You already own the most important piece of equipment required for creating educational video content. The video camera on your SmartPhone is more than capable of filming in crystal clear HD. If you want to go the extra mile, you can play around with editing apps like Magisto or Cinefy, but that is only if you want to add some production value to your lessons.

3.) Invest in a Decent Microphone

      This tip is more of a strong suggestion than it is a requirement, but there is something to be said for good sound quality. You can get a suitable microphone on Amazon for under $100. If you plan on filming yourself, while you are teaching in front of the class, then a small, wearable lab microphone like the Rode SmartLav+ is what you will want to use to ensure that your lessons have clear audio. I use this microphone when filming the introductions to all of of the MashUp Math YouTube lessons. Before purchasing a microphone, reach out to your school's library or technology department. You may get lucky and be able to borrow sound equipment.


You were going to teach the lesson anyway, so why not record it and put in online?

4.) You Don’t Have to be the Next Spielberg

     The best approach to educational video content is to film yourself while teaching a lesson. You were going to teach the lesson anyway, so why not record it and put it online? By recording a lesson, it lives on forever and students can revisit it on demand! All that you have to do is set up your SmartPhone camera to record while you teach.  Once you have the footage, you can edit out unwanted segments using a basic app, like iMovie, and then upload the finished product directly to YouTube.

5.) Consider Flipping Your Classroom

     Once you have an online library of video lessons, you may want to consider flipping your classroom, which is a reversal of the traditional teaching model. In a nutshell, students watch the lesson online for homework and work on applying the material while they are in school. Under this model, the teacher becomes less of a dispenser of information and more of a facilitator. Having the ability to embrace this progressive model is one of the greatest benefits of starting your own educational YouTube channel and can lead to a complete transformation of your everyday interactions with students. More information about the flipped learning model can be found here.

     With these five steps in mind, you are on your way to creating an awesome YouTube channel for the benefit of your students! 

Tags: flipped learning, blended learning, elearning, edtech, common core, youtube, education


by Anthony Persico

Anthony Persico is the content crafter and head educator for MashUp Math. 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.