class time
face time
flipped classrooms
scott evans
March 3, 2014

Flipping the Classroom


Scott: Now, do you find yourself sitting through a whole lesson just to get home and realize you have no idea how to tackle your homework? Well, some educators think they may have found a way of addressing the issue, and some schools are catching onto the idea. Just flip it! Take a look.

Colin Black: The wave has to travel a lot farther.

Scott: At Warren Township High School in Gurnee, Illinois. Science teacher Colin Black helps kids do their homework in class and sends his lectures home. Black and others, who have embraced what is called the flipped classroom, condense their lectures into a brief, homemade and often lighthearted video.

Black: Visible light is actually the smallest, teeniest, tiniest part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Scott: Students can digest the information outside of class whenever they like. The next day, they get their questions answered and apply the lesson with the teacher in the room.

Black: I can talk faster in the video because I don’t have to slow down for the kids to make sure they’re catching it. They can rewind it. So I can talk faster and they can pick up the information quicker.

Scott: Freshman Hailey Dorsey echoed that point.

Hailey Dorsey: We’re able to pause and then go back and go over stuff that we don’t really understand. The videos are nice. I actually like them. They are much easier than what we used to do last year.

Scott: Jared Cosey is also a freshman.

Jared Cosey: It’s really nice to go home, go look on the YouTube channel and, you know, watch the videos.

Black: Because you’re moving slower, it’s moving less.

Jon Bergmann: The question I like to ask is what’s the best use of your face-to-face class time?

Scott: Educator Jon Bergmann, along with Partner Aaron Sams, came up with the flipped classroom concept, originally designed for football players who missed class while on the road.

Bergmann: We have school backwards. We’re sending kids home to do the hard stuff. We send them home to apply and analyze and synthesize content. And they can’t do it. And then when they come to class now in a flipped classroom, the difficult tasks: application, analysis and synthesis, happens with the expert – the most important person, the teacher – present.

Scott: Three percent of teachers are flipping classrooms now. Eighteen percent have expressed interest and twenty-eight percent of school administrations want to do it.

Black: I can challenge the people who are doing really, really well and help the kids who really are struggling.

Was the amplitude lower or was the amplitude greater though?

No matter what, I would say everyday now I talk to every kid.

Scott: For Colin Black, the flipped classroom is right side up.

Black: When I see a kid who’s been struggling and then they understand it, that’s what does it for me.

Scott: And for a whole group of young minds.


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