October 28, 2018
10 Tips for Your Best Flipped Learning Classroom Activities
As the modern classroom continues to change and grow, the flipped classroom model continues to be redefined. When developing your own flipped learning classroom activities, there will be growing pains. However, you can be prepared for them if you are aware. To help you out, here are some solutions to help you get the best from making your own videos/screencasts.
1. Writing the Script
Keith Hughes does this well. It's comprehensive, clear, efficient, and accurate.
2. Choosing the Method
Check out this article from Andrew Douch on the best screencasting software for teachers. Next, have a look at Katie Gimbar's Flipped Classroom.
3. Content Curating
Although making your own videos is optimal when designing flipped learning classroom activities, content curation can help get the job done. Maybe the content you want to use has already been done before. Here’s an expert’s take on using other people’s videos.
What do you do if a child has not viewed content? This should tell you that they have not been adequately prepared to complete the task at home.
- If students come to your class unprepared, don't re-lecture. This would send the wrong message that they can decide whether to flip your class or not.
- The video-watching process needs to be scaffolded. Teach them how to watch, take notes, and engage in the content proactively rather than passively. Model the process for them.
- As you teach them how to work within the flipped classroom environment, fewer will resist. These you can handle case by case.
5. Achieving Access for All
Not everyone will have technology at home to view the video. For low-income families, this may be an issue. There are a few ways to address this:
- Create alternative methods for distributing your videos (e.g. DVD, jump drives, etc.)
- Library computer access
- Make videos accessible on different platforms, or different devices
6. Testing for Comprehension
You will need a means of formative assessment for viewing videos. This can still be done at home with online test programs. Google Forms can help you tally responses to questions after the video. Check out this article from NWEA listing tools for classroom formative assessment practices.
7. Conquering the Fear of Beginning
This is where teamwork comes in. It's about making optimal use of the resources and expertise you already have around you. You can opt to get your tech team involved. Enlist their help to set up a flipped classroom or recording studio. You can even have students hold a camera while you teach.
The point is to get help with flipped learning classroom activities from those who have done it already. Such veterans are comfortable with the technology. It won't be long before you're just as comfortable and proficient as they are. You can also check out Project Fizz and this flipped learning toolkit from Edutopia for more ideas.
8. Rethink Your Role
You will go from someone in front of the classroom to someone who can move about and interact with students in a one-on-one or smaller group setting. You can differentiate because you have essentially “duplicated” yourself. You've let your alter-ego do the lecturing while you do the inquiry and dialogue.
Your thorough preparation will pay off in the long run. You'll become a facilitator, and students will own their learning. As you duplicate yourself on video, you expand your outreach. You’re now available in your students' homes, and the homes of others. More teachers and students will benefit from your expertise. Anyone who wants to learn from your videos, in or out of school, can do so.
9. Getting Administrators/Parents on Board
There are numerous videos and websites dedicated to documenting the success of using flipped learning classroom activities. Here's just a few to get you started:
- Flipped Classroom Success Stories
- Flipped Classroom Best Practices from Clintondale High School
- A Teaching Strategy with Success Stories: The Flipped Classroom
Forge ahead and take it upon yourself to flip your own classroom. Document the results, and keep extensive records of your successes and stumbling blocks. This is so you can really see both your students' progress and your own.
Some parents may not be comfortable with too much screen time for their kids. If you are making your own videos, a sense of trust can be established between parents and teachers. They know that kids aren’t wasting time because you have taken the time to create your own content.
10. Overcoming Student Resistance
Believe it or not, friction may happen when your students' preconceptions of traditional school are challenged. This is where you teach them how to interact with the videos. Escort them through the tour of this new learning environment.
As with any teaching model, remember that we are striving toward learner-driven education. It is inevitable that a different technique will have its detractors. Remember that these are paths that are being presented to you, but it’s your choice if you want to use a different tool. Take notes, and then go ace your flipped learning classroom activities.