"What's the best use of your face-to-face class time?"
That question came from Jon Bergmann, the flipped-classroom pioneer. Bergmann argues that time is best spent not lecturing students but walking them through concepts that they absorb outside of class.
The concept of the flipped classroom, swapping homework with lecturing time, isn't new. Teachers have been experimenting with alternative learning models for years. Recently, EdTechTeacher hosted a webinar on what does and doesn't work in flipped classrooms.
The webinar, which took place on Google Hangouts and later posted on YouTube, was led by Samantha Morra. The EdTechTeacher presenter and educator started it off by noting that, in her experience, a flipped classroom offers more time to guide students, allowing for new discussion and interaction that would not have been possible with other models of teaching.
The point is for students to be able to practice the concepts they've learned outside in the classroom instead of in isolation.
"When they come to class, students are ready to do all the higher-order thinking skills, and to do that in the presence of somebody—us—who is passionate and an expert in that topic," Morra says.
She cautioned educators that the flipped classroom model does take some getting used to and that implementing it should not be rushed. Instead, she advised them to slowly integrate the model into the teaching of subjects for which it makes the most sense.
Beth Holland, a teacher who joined Morra on the webinar, says she found that even her students who regularly had shirked their homework suddenly became more diligent about doing their after-school work. The model exerted a kind of social pressure on these students, who knew that if they didn't complete it, they couldn't participate in the next day's activities in class, Holland says.