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Benefits of a Flipped Classroom
Have you ever tried to do a complex task while other people were watching you? I'm sure we've all had moments like this. My first experience with this was when I was doing my student teaching. I remember standing at the blackboard (Yes a blackboard...not a whiteboard) demonstrating to my students how to do a math problem. I had planned my accounting lesson well, and what I was demonstrating was simple math. But when I stood in front of those 9th graders, I froze. My students were amused.
Why doesn't it occur to us that this same thing is happening in many K-12 classrooms to our students? Imagine being a student, sitting there with 30 or so of your peers, trying to solve some of the most complex math equations most people will ever have to solve in their lives. I'd be scared to death or at least extremely uncomfortable! Furthermore, imagine that you have an adult standing over you saying "Do you understand this? It's going to be on the test later." Yikes!
That story is the foundation of an emerging trend in K-12 education, and it's called the "flipped classroom". Basically, the flipped classroom model means that teachers make videos of their lectures, post them online, and then have their students watch the lectures at home.
The next day when the students are at school, they run through example problems and have the students collaborate on their work. This way, what is normally homework gets completed at school, and the usual classroom lecture is absorbed by the students at home. The teacher becomes the guide on the side and the students are engaged in their learning. This format for the class is labeled a "flipped classroom".
The flipped classroom model has several advantages:
While the concept of a flipped classroom is still new, it is already showing results. A study published in Science last spring shows that a group of undergrads enrolled in a flipped classroom came away with "increased student attendance, higher engagement, and more than twice the learning" as compared to the regular, control class.
Although flipped classes are certainly not the solution to every issue in K-12 education, we here at VARtek support any use of technology that helps students learn!
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