Increased classroom sizes are becoming more and more of a struggle for teachers in the public education system. It’s challenging to accommodate varying student needs when the majority of classroom time is spent on behavioral management. While it doesn’t look like classroom populations will be shrinking anytime soon, there is a solution available. Creative teachers are using a concept called Flipped Classrooms to address multiple teaching dilemmas.
What, exactly, is a flipped classroom you ask? A flipped classroom is one in which the teacher produces a series of lectures, presentations, and/or resource materials via internet links. Students are responsible for watching the lesson before coming to class. That way, class time is almost entirely devoted to accessing deeper layers of the material, answering student questions, and working with small groups – or one-on-one – to make sure students are really “getting it”. All a teacher needs is a camera, creativity, and innovative online presentation software.
SlideRocket offers free online presentation software for educators and students. Sign up here.
3 Reasons Flipped Classrooms Work
1. Setting the Pace. Regardless of how great your classroom lecture is, there will still be students who are absent, can’t write fast enough, or don’t pay attention. Online lecture formats allow students to set their own learning pace. They can watch the presentation as many times as they want, pause it to take notes, or fast forward through concepts they already understand. When class begins, they are familiar with the material and can use you as a resource for any challenges that may arise. Plus, parents can watch the lessons as well in order to better help their children with homework.
2. Students get to use their gadgets. How many times have teachers brought up smartphones, iPads, and the downfall of the student intellect? Now, these same gadgets which many teachers bemoan can become your best teaching tool. Listening to you drone on in the front of the classroom – not so interesting. Watching a creative, graphic-rich, online lecture with pictures and video – much more exciting.
3. Classroom Management. One of the less obvious benefits of the flipped classroom is that classroom management begins to take the back burner. If teachers aren’t having to “teach” at the front of the room while writing notes on a whiteboard, they are able to continuously circulate throughout the classroom keeping mis-behaving students in check.
Try using the Flipped Classroom concept in your classroom and watch how creative lecture formats promote learning in unexpected ways.