Is the Future About Flipping?

I thought it was kinda funny that I sat down to write this post on “Flipping” the classroom last night and the internet was down. I’ll state right off the bat that I think flipping the classroom is a really effective way to deliver content when done correctly.

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That said I’m struggling to really get into it as I teach Kidergarten and most of what I’ve read suggests that the appropriate age would be from 5th grade up. If anyone has seen any programs that are working for kids younger than that please share them with me.

For those that are new to the idea of Flipping the classroom here is a Prezi on the subject:

You can find this Prezi and moer about flipping the classroom in the post “Flipped Classroom Defined” on the Digital Sandbox website.

Here are a couple more places to learn more about what flipping is all about and to hear what others have to say about it:

1. A post from UWCSEA’s Digital Literacy Blog from UWCSEA: The Flipped Classroom – so what exactly am I flipping?

2. A post on the Connected Principals site to check out. It has some great links to further reading on the subject.

A super great resource for the “flip” is the Khan Academy website.

With a library of over 2,700 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 240 practice exercises, we’re on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.

2,700 is quite a few videos! The website is organized very well so that you can find what you are looking for fairly easy. It states on the website at the time this was written they have delivered 88,065,639 lessons. That’s major!

The Kahn Academy takes it a step further than just flipping a traditional classroom though. They’re aim is “providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere”. Very cool! They provide a variety of assessment which can help to provide data in order to help inform you along the way. You can even gather data on a whole classroom. I’m telling you it’s super cool, if you teach you should check it out.

As I said earlier I think this is a great idea but I struggle to find it’s place in kindergarten. So much of kindergarten is focused on social and emotional intelligence which commonly takes place through direct interaction between individuals. In addition, logistically it would be very difficult for this format to work without direct supervision from a parent. Since kindergartener are just leaning to read they would need a parent to help at home and not all families are in a position to do that. I think it could be done but it would take quite an investment from the parents.

I’m excited to see where this development is headed. What do you see as the benefit/drawback of such systems and do you think there is an appropriate age for flipping the classroom?

About Benjamin J Sheridan

Instructional designer at the University of Kentucky.
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3 Responses to Is the Future About Flipping?

  1. Megan Walker says:

    As a fellow elementary teacher, I too have had difficulty envisioning exactly how to incorporate reverse instruction in my room. And I teach fifth grade!!! The promise of flipping instruction, as you mention, is tremendous. It’s finding a place to use the concept in a way that truly enables further learning that becomes the challenge.

    I have begun using Khan Academy with my students this year. They really enjoy being able to explore concepts on their own time, and I definitely appreciate the ability to track what specific groups of students are working on and where I can focus instruction. I have not, however, made the switch to really flipping my math instruction. I’m looking to try it with our upcoming fraction concepts.

    A major benefit I see is in the time that would open up for us to engage in more authentic problem-solving and exploration. Our math period is limited to about 40 minutes most days, so that’s pretty significant. I think my students will be receptive to the idea, but worry about parents. Some parents see anything online as “play,” and are really looking for pencil and paper based drill-and-practice homework.

    Thanks for the post! I too am curious whether anyone has ideas about implementing in a kindergarten classroom… I’ll keep checking back.

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  2. Kim Cofino says:

    I don’t think the flipped classroom model is intended to be one size fits all or an easy answer for every classroom, it’s more of an idea or inspiration for a new way of looking at teaching and learning. If it doesn’t match exactly to your environment, that’s OK. Maybe there are elements you can take and apply. One thing I’m thinking that might be nice is to ask all parents to read their children the same book, and then come to class and discuss it. That would be fun, age-appropriate, and something parents and students are already familiar with in this context. Just an idea.

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