Saturday, September 10, 2011

Flipped classrooms: New explanation, early data

Mind/Shift is sharing a new, highly visual explanation of the "flipped classroom" idea.   Here's just enough of the illustration to encourage you to check it out:

In a flipped classroom, the teacher's lectures and demonstrations become videos students study at home, and the hands-on practice that once was called "homework" becomes the main focus during the time students and teachers are together.  It's a breakthrough idea for using modern technology that can both types of learning opportunities stronger, as students can replay lectures at will and get much stronger coaching on their individual and small-group work during the school day.  I was excited about this idea last year, and it still strikes me as potentially very important.

The Mind/Shift article ends with some hopeful, if under-explained, data, saying that freshmen failing English dropped from 50% to 19%, and those failing mathematics dropped from 44% to 13% "after the flip."  That reads as though someone did at least a small systematic study, though it doesn't say who, or when, or where, or how we could find out whether it involved thousands of students or only a few dozen.  Taken with quite a lot of caution, that's at least a preliminary hint that this strategy may indeed be a technology-driven breakthrough in learning opportunities.

(Hat Tip: Prichard Committee Daily)

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