Yesterday I sent out a tweet that I heard from a student in my class:
This quote really resonated with me…I was happy to see that students were seeing value and learning through the various activities we have been doing in class. The in-class time is what the Flipped Classroom is all about to me: less lecturing (video or traditional) and more active engagement….Yet at the beginning of the year when I mentioned ‘whiteboarding’, a collaborative learning activity we do, students groaned as they felt it was a waste of time, now some students go so far as requesting it because they see value in it. I have made it a goal in my second year of the Flipped Classroom to try and do these activities more often and it seems to be paying off.
A question I often get from teachers considering the Flipped Classroom is ‘How do you ensure students watch the video?’…..Hmmmm….quite frankly I don’t. I tell students I could could care less how they learn, I just want them to learn, somehow / someway / someday. If students want to access information by other means that is fine by me. Just like all students did not like my traditional lectures I know some won’t jive with my flipped ones. I openly encourage students to ‘play’ with their learning. I want them to learn how to learn. Experiment and take-risks….Do they need to watch my videos? Do they need to watch the whole video? Can they ask questions of me to learn the material? Can they simply read the textbook? Can they do all of the work they need to do in class? Do they find flash cards useful? How about journalling? And now…Can they learn what they need to learn with the in-class activities? It turns out that some can, and I love that.
This is a perfect example of how the Flipped Classroom is taking on new dimensions that I didn’t plan for but now couldn’t live without. I initially planned to assign videos every night, now I never assign anything; students self-pace themselves up to a test deadline….I initially planned to have students take their quizzes in a traditional way, now students collaborate on them and take them in groups so they can help one another and have conversations throughout….And now….Some students are not watching my videos because the in-class activities are doing the trick…yep, I love that too.
This reminds me of a post that of recent has gotten a lot of attention (and I would argue maybe more for the title than the post?) ‘The Flip: End of a Love Affair’. As I was reading this post I felt like I was missing something. The post seemed like a glowing endorsement for the Flipped Classroom yet the author was somewhat denouncing it because of what her class had evolved to be – students taking responsibility of their learning, problem based learning, inquiry learning, etc. I thought this was the goal of the Flipped Classroom? If this is a new dimension my practice continues to move towards then sign me up….’The Flipped Classroom and I are seeing other people!?!?!’