Friday, July 26, 2013

Don't Just Flip with Videos. Flip the Learning

One of the hottest trends in education these days is the flipped classroom model. Teachers would assign instructional videos for students to watch for homework, which allows the teacher more time to work on other learning activities in the classroom the next day.  Some teachers also assign questions for students to answer to prove that the student has indeed watched the video.

Is this enough?  Is this innovation?

This is still a teacher-centered classroom, where the questions are driven by the teacher.  This is not new pedagogy.  It's simply moving the geographical location of the lesson from the classroom to the home with the help of technology.

Even Jon Bergmann, one of the first pioneers of the flipped classroom model, will argue in "The Flipped Class: Myths vs. Reality" that this method isn't just about watching the video.  He explained that it's "an environment where students take responsibility for their own learning" and that it's a "blending of direct instruction with constructivist learning."

So how can you flip the learning to the student?

Instead of the teacher providing the questions as accompaniment to the video, teach your students how to ask critical thinking questions that will drive the learning into their own hands.  Assign the video, but also embed it on a platform that will allow students to actively discuss the material they watched with each other.

If students are passively watching the video and simply answering questions that only the teacher will read, they are missing out on an opportunity to explore, question, and challenge their knowledge.  They are missing out on an opportunity to learn from each other.

There are many web tools and learning management systems that do a great job of hosting your flipped learning materials.  My platform of choice is Schoology.  To read more about why, view my post "Why I Chose Schoology Over All the Rest."

So the next time you assign a video for homework, consider creating an environment where all students can actively engage in the learning.

This post is also published on GoAnimate's Educator Experiences blog.


  1. Loved the post. I too stress flipped classroom is not just about videos, but inquiry with other teachers! Standard Based Grading (SBG)also helps too with the Depth of Knowledge that is key with the Common Core. I'm going to use Schoology too after our discussion. It is great for discussion after videos. This allows students to think and react to the content, which fosters critical thinking and is called for in the Common Core, as well as the 21st century collaboration skills.
    Also, enjoy that this sets the students up for continued inquiry in the classroom and allows me to check for misunderstandings from their posts to clarify in class.

  2. Thanks Alice. I understand Flipped Classroom more now than before. I see the link to Socratic questioning thanks to you

  3. Yes, yes, and yes. After a little while, making videos and curating content becomes easy. The real challenge will always be in crafting engaging learning experiences in class. That's the point of flipping. It's not the video. It's what the video allows your class time to become.