It has been quite a week learning about flipped classrooms. I had to do a bit of my own flipped learning this week while I was away coaching a basketball camp. I had very little internet connection so I had to write my blog and responses to blogs offline and seek out windows of connectivity with which I could submit my work. That got me thinking about how important technology is in my life. Having to print off web pages and read paper copies reminded me of the “old days” and how dependent and comfortable I am with online learning. If I feel this way pushing 40, I can only see my high school students preferring flipped learning in increasing proportions. That realization got me excited about implementing this but also inquiring about some of the challenges that flipped learning presents.
The first challenge was determining how I will fill my newly liberated class time. Once the class time has been freed up… what will that class now look like? As I read my peer’s blogs, I posted a few questions on that topic. I feel that some of the misconceptions on flipped learning includes a “flip it and forget it” perception. That once my 3-15 minute video is created that my lesson is done. I’ll be honest, there was part of the initial prospect of creating a flipped classroom that made me think it would be easier. In fact, I think flipped learning is an excellent concept, but I don’t see it being easier now. Meaningful companion activities will need to be created and therefore it almost looks like twice the work. For teachers who have been teaching a subject for a while and have it all down, leaving that comfort zone for the unknown is a frightening thing. To combat that I have decided to start off with one unit of one class next fall. I think that will be more manageable way for me to embark on this method. It will also be a way for me to familiarize myself with the challenges and unexpected hiccups that might arise. Will my parents be supportive of this learning method. The old way is familiar… what happens if students don’t do well and then receive poor grades with this method. Will the administration support me?
The second challenge I broached with my classmates was the vulnerability of putting yourself “out there” by flipping your classroom. Once your lessons are out on the internet, others can be viewing them as well. There is a certain excitement that I get from the idea of publishing my lessons. A sense of pride that I have the opportunity to show off my mad teaching skills. But then… it does open yourself up to negative feedback and criticism. Overall, I think it will cause me to be a better presenter of information and ultimately a better teacher.
I learned quite a bit this week, even though I spent significant time offline. I definitely have benefited from reading my classmates blogs and listening to their ideas and struggles and been given some great feedback. I have tried to contribute to their learning as well. I am excited that there are so many of us who are hoping to embark into a flipped classroom environment.