Flip the What? INDT 501 Week 6

A teacher introducing flipping to fourth grade parents.

Flipping a classroom is a unique idea that doesn’t stray far from logical thought. Many teachers in secondary and higher education have practiced this method of instruction for many years. However, they haven’t practiced it correctly. In high school, teachers may ask students to read the textbook for homework and, depending on the level of the class, will ask the students to complete worksheets and other like assignments in class. In college, this is almost explicitly the way instruction is carried minus the assignments. Students are expected to learn the content on their own and come to class ready to discuss.

This is not the way flipping a classroom should happen and it is not effective.

Flipping a classroom entails much more than reading a chapter for homework. Teachers who practice flipping their classrooms use technology to create a form of lecture for the student to view at home and hold them accountable for learning content. During class, the experience should differ greatly from what was mentioned above. Instructional time should be used for collaboration, performance – based tasks, and complex classroom activites. All of these should help evolve critical thinking skills.

The example given in this week’s blog assignment is a classroom where the teacher has students view videos of lecture at home and complete worksheets and writing assignments in class. This example is a start to a flipped classroom, but it is not a flipped classroom. The homework portion of instruction should be video recordings of lecture because that is boring and students can be easily distracted. They could turn on the television, do other homework at the same time and it is not engaging. The homework portion can be videos from multiple sites with multiple ways of explaining a concept. A teacher could even organize these videos for different learning styles. Since the existence of interactive online textbooks is growing, a video or content-driven assignments with interactivity could be easily integrated. The class time in a flipped classroom should be much different then the example. Worksheets and writing assignments do not teach students or help build critical thinkings skills. Collaorative activities, multi-faceted projects, and real-world tasks that align with curriculum standards are the activities that should be happening in a flipped classroom. Teachers complain about not having enough time for these activities, but the flipped classroom allows time for it so why not take advantage of it.

Since I want to be a high school social studies teacher, I think a flipped classroom would be beneficial. For the class activities, I would love for students to develop websites like nings and wikisites where my students synthesize research and use the Internet to connect with experts. Of course, I would have to have access to laptops or the computer quite frequently, but that doesn’t that I couldn’t ask for parent permission for students to bring in their laptops. Also, I could arrange such activities in a way that only some students would need computers on some days, while the rest of the class works on a different aspect of the collaborative activity. As for the at home portion of instruction, I would most likely have my students view a variety of sources a week such as short videos, interactive sites, and mini-assignments to help students retain information.


Pocketlodge. (2012, January 6). “Flipping the Classroom 4th grade STEM.” . Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KWqw_7Ib1o on 2013, February 23.

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One Response to Flip the What? INDT 501 Week 6

  1. Angela says:

    I also think that this model would work well for the upper grades. It requires a lot of the students in the form of time management and self-discipline; something the tiny kids I’m going to be teaching just won’t have. What are your thoughts on using this model for, say, a 2nd grade classroom? Think it would work?

    I also had the same thought — gee whiz, this new and innovative “flipped classroom” thing sounds EXACTLY like what I spent 4 years going in college, and that started and ended well before 2007 when this apparently was invented!