The Flipped Classroom for Professional Development

by Lisa Dubernard 2 Comments February 14, 2012

Have any of the teachers in your school systems tried flipping their classrooms yet?

Have you heard about it and what the advantages might be?

As you know, new content is “typically” delivered to all students at the same time by their teacher. Some call this “sage on the stage”, presentations (with or without PowerPoint), or simply a lecture. Sometimes this type of instruction is very effective (depending on the teacher and student) and sometimes it is not.

After the content is presented, “typically” students are given homework assignments to practice, work out examples of the problem taught in class or other assignments to extend or add to the ideas and concepts presented in the classroom.

The flipped classroom makes the use of technology so that the main content concepts are delivered as homework via short recorded videos and then the classroom time is used for practice and extensions activities, the stuff traditionally done as homework.

There are many advantages to this practice and also many potholes to look for.

Pros to a Flipped Classroom

  • Teachers have more time to work individually and in small groups with their students.
  • Students can review, rewind, start and stop the recorded presentation at any time and at their own pace.

Cons to a Flipped Classroom

  • This is new to some students and parents so teachers will probably need to at least send home an explanation!
  • Some students may not have the technology at home to watch the videos (computer with internet access.)*

*There are ways to address access issues like giving them a few days to watch the assignment.  They could go to the library, the school’s computer lab, stay late or come in early.  Tell them to let you know confidentially if this would be a problem and perhaps you can work it out individually.  (This is really no different than assigning a research paper, no?)

I won’t go further into this concept because honestly there are so many great articles on the subject, I’d rather give you links to explore on your own.

Check out these great articles and resources:

USA Today: “Flipped” classrooms take advantage of technology

Promethean Planet: Can technology help us “flip” the classroom?

Shawlervision: Inverted or Flipped Classroom Resources (High school science teacher in Georgia)

TedTalks: Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education

The Flipped Classroom Model: A Full Picture

The Flipped Classroom: An Infographic (Check this one out for sure!)

Now I would like to pose these questions to you for self-reflection:

How can or should this flipped classroom concept apply to training for adults? (Teachers in your schools… board member training.)

What percentage of us hates sitting through professional development and listening to a lecture?

How often do you “miss out” because you were distracted or missed a point because you were taking notes (or taking a call!)!

Don’t most of us ask for more “hands-on” when we fill out those evaluation forms?

If we ask our teachers to effectively use technology, why do we not model this in the professional development for our staff and leadership teams?

Could watching assigned short videos as pre-assignments can give us a way to be more efficient with our time and more time collaborating, discussion and interacting in the classroom?

I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the planning team for GSBA’s new School Board U. Their new website will provide a learning platform for school board members to access all of the materials (videos, handouts, agendas…) for ALL courses for school board members whether these courses are face-to-face, completely web-based and self-paced, webinars or a “hybrid” course (blend of face to face and online). School Board U will allow you to access materials when you want, where you want and at your pace.

Would you like to learn in a flipped classroom? Please post why or why not!

(School Board U was officially rolled out at the GSBA Summer Conference in June 12.  Here’s a link to the website where you can watch the videos!

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2 Comments to “The Flipped Classroom for Professional Development”
  1. avatar Greg Patrenos says:

    Just make sure the videos are well done and engaging. Anyone want to watch my brother in laws home movies ?

  2. Thanks, Greg, your candy heart is on the way!

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