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Teacher’s Guide to the Flipped Classroom

student at home learning on computerAt one time, education was a passive experience in which students sat in class listening to lectures or reading books. While lectures and textbooks are still part of the educational system, they have taken a backseat to flipped learning. In this educational method, internet technology is incorporated into the classroom, freeing up teachers to help students instead of only lecturing them. Flipped teaching shows a lot of promise so far and is likely to become the prominent teaching model in the future.

How Does The Flipped Classroom Work?

  • Technological pre-learning: In the flipped classroom, the class is not organized around the teacher’s lectures. Instead, students are required to learn the material before class, allowing them to clear up any misunderstandings while the teacher is available. This “pre-learning” is often accomplished online, with the teacher posting instructional videos for students to watch at home.
  • Reading and writing: Students read textbooks or conduct online investigations outside of class. Teachers have them write reactions to the readings or prepare questions to ask during class time.
  • Classroom assistance: Once students are in the classroom, they are able to obtain one-on-one help from teachers and teacher’s aides. The teacher may split the students up into groups to work on projects or hold discussions. Meanwhile, he or she is in the room offering help to students who have questions or who are struggling.
  • Enrichment activities: The classroom experience may also be supplemented by labs, hands-on projects or field trips. Activities like these are often successful in capturing student interest, making them more likely to continue to study concepts on their own.

What Are The Advantages Of The Flipped Classroom?

The biggest advantage of the flipped classroom approach is the element of active participation. When taught in the traditional lecture-and-note manner, students often grow bored and find themselves interested in everything but the content covered by the teacher. Proponents of the flipped classroom argue that it is better to let students learn the material at their own pace in a comfortable home environment with the help of readings, videos and online material. Then they can pursue interactive learning activities in the classroom while receiving personalized attention from the teacher.

The other advantage of the flipped classroom is its incorporation of new technology. In today’s world, both children and adults need to be technologically literate in order to succeed in the workforce. When technology is used in everyday classroom activities, students are more likely to feel comfortable using it on their own. Additionally, research suggests the use of new technology may improve test scores. In one study conducted at Amelia Earhart Middle School in Riverside, California, middle school students’ scores on algebra tests increased greatly when they used iPads to learn material instead of following the traditional textbook and lecture approach. Other studies involving tablets and Smart Boards have also shown promising results. Researchers expect future pilots with both Smart Boards and tablet computers to prove successful.

 
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