It's Time to Flip Your Classroom

Imagine students walking into a classroom and instead of sitting at a desk and listening to a lecture, they participate in activities and do their homework in class. While it may seem like a very abstract approach to teaching, this method is very much a reality.

Appropriately called “The Flipped Classroom,” this method flips the traditional learning experience on its head. Instead of the students taking home large amounts of homework with them every night, they instead spend their time outside of the classroom listening to recorded lectures and participating in online class discussions. Conversely, when the students come to class, they work on activities and exercises that reinforce what they learned the previous night.

This new concept allows teachers to work with their students and become more active members in the learning experience. With the flipped classroom, students can now interact with their teacher and peers to help grasp important concepts. This model also relieves some of the frustration and difficulty some students encounter when learning on their own.

The inversion of the traditional learning experience removes the passiveness of lectures and incorporates a more active teaching method that is more engaging for students.

The flipped classroom movement was started in 2007 by teachers Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams in Woodland Park, CO. They began recording their PowerPoint lectures for students who missed class, but other students began watching the videos as well. As the popularity of their online videos grew, Bergman and Sams began to experiment with their new teaching method.

The rest, as they say, is education history.

Teachers across the globe have begun adopting the flipped classroom concept and are lauding its success. With this model, students receive instant feedback and are less frustrated when they are having trouble understanding concepts. This new model is also impacting online education.

With the increase in distance learning and online education solutions, teachers can also leverage the benefits of blended learning strategies and incorporate them into their flipped classrooms.

We are seeing a dramatic shift in today’s education landscape. Flipped classrooms, blended learning strategies and online education are showing that our students want and need to be more engaged in the learning process. The traditional classroom setting will need to evolve in order to successfully serve today’s students.

New technologies are making us a more participatory culture and the days of passively consuming information is gone. With concepts like the flipped classroom, hopefully the education experience is changing for the better.

Watch this great video of Aaron Sams as he explains why he flipped his classroom.

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