Over the last couple of years I have been fortunate enough to connect with a large number of educators either at conferences or online. As people learn more and more about the Flipped Classroom they often have questions. I have found myself answering many of them more these questions on more than one occasion so I thought a blog post was warranted.
Here are my top 5 Flipped Classroom FAQs:
What do you do when students don’t watch the video?
Will firstly I should note that I don’t usually assign videos, or anything for that matter, for homework. Most of my students find they have enough time in class to watch the video that they don’t need to watch it at home. On the days I do assign a video for homework I do so knowing that some for whatever reason will not get to it. I don’t punish the students, I have found more and more that the ‘whack-a-mole’ approach to education is ineffective. Students need to see value in the video and ultimately take responsibility for their learning. Students value the videos because they make the in-class activities more productive and beneficial for them and they don’t want to fall behind. When they haven’t watched the video they often find it difficult to fully engage in the activity and need to rely on their fellow students to offer guidance as they work together.
So if you aren’t lecturing in class what does a day actually looked like?
Here is a video I made explaining it.
How do you make your videos?
There are many different ways but my way is definitely not the only or best way, it just works for me! I use a Lenovo Convertible X220 Tablet PC that enables me to annotate documents on my computer screen. The software I use is a program called Windows Journals that allows me to write over top of my fill-in-the-blank Microsoft Word files. To record the screencasts I use Camtasia Studio which I have found to be the best Screencasting Software out there. It records everything on my screen, gives me plenty of options to edit and then offers a simple way to produce your video to YouTube or wherever else you need to go. I started off using a typical microphone headset but now I use the Samson GoMic. It has great sound and doesn’t look as wild when I choose to use the webcam feature.
How do I get started?
Start small, it’s the biggest tip I could offer. I have seen many educators (myself included) who have tried to record video after video without trying them out with their students. Bring your students into the mix, ask them what they like and what you could improve on. Start with a lesson, then perhaps try an entire unit and if still things are going well try a course. You don’t need to have all the hardware/software I mentioned above either. Download a free 30 day trial from TechSmith and play around with Camtasia and see how it can benefit your students.
Why do you flip?
I flip to make the most of my face-to-face time. I felt that I just wasn’t meeting the needs of my students when I spent the majority of class lecturing. I wasn’t able to differentiate my instruction so I found myself lecturing to the middle. I flipped because I wanted to do more ‘stuff’ in class with that face-to-face time. ‘Stuff’ will be different for each educator but more me I added the following:
- Self-paced learning environment
- Mastery based quizzes via Moodle
- Daily in-class whiteboard activities or Math Labs
- Learning Journals
- Student-Teacher Interviews before summative assessments (Hot Seat)
- Ability to work with small groups.
- Increased time to build relationships