Thursday, 27 February 2014

Reasons to flip your classroom

Source: "Flip your Classroom", by J. Bergmann and A. Sams
Source: Kelly Walsh,

Flipping helps busy students
Today’s students are busy, and being able to consume learning content on demand is a big help, especially when they miss class for extracurricular events.  Colleges are looking for those extracurricular activities, and it’s a shame if a student has to choose between missing lectures or participating in activities that they’ve committed to – with the flip, they don’t have to! Students can even work ahead when they know they will be losing class time.

Flipping helps struggling students
Many students are absolutely thrilled to be able to pause, rewind, and replay lecture videos and absorb new content at a pace that works for them. Moreover, the time that is freed up in class can now be devoted more directly to each student as he or she needs it.

Flipping helps students of all abilities excel
The flip delivers benefits to students across the full spectrum of abilities – from the students who struggle to absorb material as they frantically copy down notes, to the student who is ahead of the curve and gets bored. Having access to consume and replay learning content on demand and increased access to teachers in the classroom can benefit everyone!

Flipping increases student-teacher interaction
Many teachers who implement the flip will emphasize that the ultimate benefit is the time they get to spend with students in class, the nature of which changes greatly under this model. Now teachers can spend one-on-one time with students, or create groups that are struggling with the same content and give them a mini-lecture or demonstration. The bottom line is that you will have more time than ever to interact with your students, rather than just “performing” your lecture.

Flipping allows teachers to know their students better
“We have always believed that a good teacher builds relationships with students.” If you are spending more time with your students, you are going to know them better and better understand who is struggling with what, and who is mastering learning outcomes quickly and can benefit from some extra challenging work. You are also more likely to get insights into these students lives that you wouldn’t get otherwise, and this can create opportunities to recognize issues they may need help with, or to recognize and follow up on potential that you might otherwise not have the time to pick up on.

Flipping allows for real differentiation
Students learn at different rates. While watching class lectures, students who get a topic can speed the video up, and those who are struggling can replay the challenging sections. In class, students who are having a hard time grasping a specific topic will have an opportunity to work closely with the teacher. An instructor can decrease the assigned work on a topic that the student has shown understanding of, to free up more time to get clear on the topics they find harder to grasp. Students who master the materials can move ahead.

Flipping changes classroom management
“When we flipped the classroom, we discovered something amazing. Because we were not just standing and talking at kids, many of the classroom management problems evaporated.” Students that create disturbances by acting out in front the other students find that they no longer have an audience, since other students are busy with hands-on activities or working in small groups. Even better, some of the students who used to misbehave out of boredom are too busy and engaged in learning to do so!

Flipping changes the way we talk to parents
The dynamics of the conversation with parents often changes in the flipped classroom as well. The conversation can move beyond issues like, “is my child behaving in class” to a more meaningful discussion about learning. Teachers are able to explain how a student is succeeding, and what they struggle with. There are many reasons why a student may be struggling, and focusing on these areas in a dialogue with the parent can be far more productive than a discussion of why their child won’t do their homework or why they won’t sit still in class.

Some teachers may make assumptions about the benefits of the flip are misinformed and if these are driving someone’s interest in the flip, it is important that they move beyond these erroneous perceptions.

Because you think it will create a 21st Century classroom: Pedagogy should always drive technology, not vice-versa.

Because you think you will become cutting edge: Flipping isn’t about the newest tools.

Because you think it exempts you from being a good teacher: Good teaching is much more than delivering good content.

Because you hope it will make your job easier: That’s not going to happen and it’s not what the flip is about. The nature of the job changes, in many good ways, but it is not about making the work easier, and there are plenty of challenges along the way as the process is adopted and put to use.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Why tablets are a game changer in education. Source: Edudemic

Why tablets are a game changer in education
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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

5 Mistakes to avoid when flipping your class, by Jon Bergmann

5 Mistakes to avoid when flipping your class, by Jon Bergmann

When Aaron Sams and I first started flipping our classes in 2007, we made a lot of mistakes.  If you are considering flipping your classroom this fall (or just flipping a few lessons), I want to share with you some of the mistakes we made or have seen others make, so that you don’t have to repeat them.

Keep Your Videos Short: 

Short-short-short!  We took our standard lecture and made videos.  These videos contained multiple objectives and pieces of content and were way too long.  Instead make one video per discrete objective.  My rule of thumb is one to one and a half minutes per grade level. For a 4th grader, your videos should be no longer than 4-6 min.  For a 10th grader that means 10-15 min videos.  If you think you can’t have quality videos that short, you will be surprised how little time it takes to clearly communicate a specific objective.  Just try it out.

Don’t assume all students have the Internet at home

Or that they have access to the Internet 24-7.  We met with each student individually and asked how they were going to access our content outside of class.  Many had iPods and we simply connected them to our computers and downloaded the content to their devices.  For others we provided DVD’s for kids with no computers at home.  Don’t forget to ask about what kind of access your students have to devices at home.  Does their dad take an online course and monopolize the computer at night?

Don’t Lecture if Students Don’t Watch Your Videos

Rescuing students who don’t do what you ask is never the answer.  If half of your students don’t watch your video content, then don’t rescue them by teaching what is already in your video.  All that will accomplish is to tell the students who did do the work that what they did was a waste of time.

Hold Each Student Individually Accountable for Work

Instead, hold them each individually accountable for watching the videos.   When we first started we walked around the room and asked students to show us their notes on the video.  Those who did received ten points and those who didn’t went to the back of the room to watch the video content on some class computers with headphones.  The students who didn’t watch the content quickly realized that the only way we were going to (at least initially) expose them to content was through the videos.  And while they were watching videos in the back of the room the other students were getting help on the hard stuff, which they now had to slog through on their own at home.  This didn’t solve all the problems of kids not doing their homework, but it worked for most students.

Teach Students HOW to watch your videos

Watching one of our instructional videos is not the same thing as watching Batman on DVD.  Students need to interact cognitively with the video.  They need to be intentionally taught how to watch our video content.  Spend some class time teaching your students how to watch instructional videos.  I know it is weird to watch a video of you teaching while you are standing there, but we want students to be able to do this at home when we are not present.  One thing we did on the first or second day of school was to watch an introductory video together.  I gave the control of the pause button to a specific student.  As students were trying to write down notes from the video, the student in charge of the pause button was either going too slow or too fast for other students.  After many minutes of frustration, I informed the students that each of them would have control of the pause button for the rest of the year.  We also used this class time to teach them how to write down questions from the video which they needed to bring to class.


We made many more mistakes that I will probably write about in the future.  What are some of the things you wished you had done differently when you first started flipping your class?

Advantages of using the iPad and the BYOD policy in the flipped classroom

started using the iPad in my flipped lessons five years ago. Apart from the immediate benefit of engaging students, the iPad has improved education efficiency and standards. Among other things, I now have a paperless classroom, share interactive presentations and test my students—all on my iPad.

The following are some of the benefits of using this device:

The iPad is most effective in prompting my most disconnected students to interact in the classroom and have fun while learning. For example, I use the Creative Book Builder app to write my own textbooks  and the iBooks app to engage students in reading.

I use the Keynote app to create slide presentations. It enables me to fill my presentations with text, images, videos and surveys, while allowing me to control the speed and flow of the lesson as students interact with the material.

I use Dropbox, a free file sharing app, to post homework assignments. Students turn them in using the app and I then grade and return them all on Dropbox.

I use apps like Notability or Penultimate, which enable me to take notes, record lectures and annotate PDFs.

I use Keynote to share lessons with students on my blog. Students can access them whenever they need and can learn at the pace that suits them best.

 iPad implementation and the BYOD policy have actually decreased costs for students, because they do not need to buy physical textbooks.

Students can view videos explaining the material as many times as they need. 

I can use the Socrative app to poll my students on what they know and don't know; this allows me to spend more time teaching the topics they struggle with.

Apps like Explain Everything can foster storytelling, creative collaboration and individual initiative. 

I let students use apps like Comic Strips to convert educational texts into engaging learning material.

My classroom is now virtually paperless. Students do not have to  carry binders and textbooks any longer. I give them digital assignments

The most important aspects of the flipped classroom model

interesting article at on the Flipped classroom