Monday, July 9, 2012

Educators Examine Flipped Classrooms

I was recently interviewed by NPR about why I'm not flipping over the flipped classroom.  Here is the story.  
Credit James Sarmiento / Flickr
Educators from all over Idaho meet in Boise Tuesday and Wednesday to talk about creating 21st century classrooms. One of the themes of theEduStat conference is flipping education.
Greg Greene is principal of a high school in suburban Detroit. A few years ago he banned lectures in classrooms. Instead teachers assign online videos that students watch on their own. In class teachers work with individuals or small groups. Greene is considered a pioneer in the flipped classroom, homework in class, class work at home. He’ll tell Idaho teachers about it at the state department of Ed’s EduStat conference. Greene says the flipped classroom solves the education dilemma of teachers vs. technology.
“We have been struggling trying to figure out how the teacher and technology survive together," he says. "In a flipped classroom the teacher is helping guide students down that path of success.”
Greene says in this system technology frees teachers to work closely with students. It’s a model that’s growing nationally. Some Idaho schools are experimenting with it, including in Star and Gooding. But one education author and blogger Lisa Nielsen hasn’t flipped for flipped classrooms.
“It sounds like it’s an innovative idea but it’s just talking about doing the same old boring, tired pedagogy in a slightly different way," she says.
Nielsen says technology could transform the education system but flipped classrooms are built around lectures and homework. Those are things she thinks don’t belong in 21st century education. Objections like those on Nielsen’s blog aren’t on the agenda at the statewide conference in Boise, but two of the speakers will be touting the benefits of the flipped model.


  1. It's so hard to stop bad ideas (flipped classroom) from reaching larger audiences. There's so many educators who think they have a deep understanding of technology and pedagogy but lack a foundation necessary for knowing good from bad.

  2. I think the flipped classroom is a good idea, just because of today's generation that is so obsessed with technology. If it was an older generation like baby boomers, however, I would say this is a horrible idea. Today's generation lacks the discipline of sitting through lectures and need that hands on learning experience that computers can give to them. I personally wouldn't like a flipped classroom.I think with the right technology it can be a great success. I know of this product called SchoolVue that allows you to restrict certain things from computers, has remote control capabilities, 1:1 learning, etc. It's a great program for the flipped classroom scenario.

  3. TOTALLY hear you. Doesn't feel like any new classroom innovations have really been implemented. If you don't think past the surface, in theory it seems cool, but I certainly wouldn't tout it as an advance in technology, right?!

  4. Flipping is a good, practical idea. Been doing it for a year now. Yes, it's a 'lecture' - but is anybody seriously suggesting there is NO room for a explanation and guidance? I use it to go over the basics before class so we have more time for in depth source work and interpretation - higher order skills and group work.

  5. Flipping the class can be a huge asset to students...if used correctly. Flipping the entire day doesn't seem to be the way to go about it. And even when a flipped method is implemented, there should still be some time at the beginning of the class in which the teacher expands upon the video the students watched the night before.

    The flipped classroom provides a number of benefits including having the teacher in the room while students are completing assignments. Another often overlooked benefit is that with a recorded lecture, students are able to re-watch sections they become stuck on. If students have access to the video in class, they can use it to help solve questions while the teacher is busy helping another student.