Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back to school doesn't have to mean back to homework

When I suggested to Chris Anderson, the creator of TED Talks and now TED-Ed, that he might want to reconsider using the term "Flip" for all his teacher-created videos, he looked puzzled. Flipped classroom, or flipped video in this case, refers to the practice of doing homework in class and watching the instruction at home. I explained, that the power of video doesn't have to be relegated solely to work that happens at home. Instead, these videos can be powerful in school learning tools as well. 

He asked why teachers and parents wouldn't want to watch these great videos for homework. I explained that there is a growing movement against homework among parents, educators, and students. Kids already spend about 6 hours a day with academic pursuits chosen by other people. More and more people feel time at home should be chosen by the child and his/her family. 

When we do this we empower and trust families to decide what they want to do when they leave school. Instead of homework, they may want to:

Play outside. 
Be with friends. 
Have dinner.
Talk and laugh.
Play games with friends or family. 
Read a book. 
Write a book.
Make a video. 
Draw. 
Chill out. 
Be bored. 
Sleep.

We need to take the work out of the home and give time back to students and their families. 


As I shared with Chris Anderson, this is a growing movement led by some of my favorite experts to do just that.  Here’s the video they’re using to make their case.

The below video is another anti-work at home video created for viewers to share and discuss with friends, colleagues and any PTA members or leadership officials


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