Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Journal 3: Upside Down and Inside Out

Fulton, K. (2012). Upside down and inside out: Flip your classroom to improve student learning. Learning & Leading with Technology, 39(8), 12-14. Retrieved from

Summary: "Upside down and inside out" is an article that discusses a recent fad in the world of education called "flipping".

When an educator "flips" his/her classroom, he/she let students learn the material at home and do homework in class. This is radically different than the traditional classroom. In the flipped classroom, students watch video lessons at home prepared by their teachers and then work on their homework during class. Students can choose to work individually, in groups, or even outside of the classroom. Lessons are available via iPods and other MP3 players so that students can refer to them while doing their homework. According to the article, this practice has been very successful and student feedback indicates that students enjoy the new system.

Q1: Is this approach reasonable for all levels of Math?

A1: I would have to say that "flipping" can be very difficult depending on the subject matter. The problem I see is that students cannot ask the teacher questions while they are watching or listening to the video lessons. My belief is that any questions a student may have about the material should be answered immediately to avoid having the student guess or adopt a wrong method. This is especially important in Math because many students struggle to grasp the concepts behind the problems. It can be dangerous if students don't understand the foundational material in the video but continue to watch and attempt problems toward the end.

Q2: How would teachers deal with parents who object to this type of teaching method?

A2: I think that this question is very important because I can see many parents objecting to the flipping method. They may object simply because they do not want to change or they are uneducated about the potential benefits of flipping. As a teacher I would make sure that all of my students' parents were on board before I made the change to the curriculum. Any parents who object to the method I would talk face-to-face and explain to them why flipping the classroom could be very beneficial.

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