Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Journal 3: "Upside down and inside out: Flip your classroom to improve student learning."

Fulton, K. (2012). Upside down and inside out: Flip your classroom to improve student learning. Learning & leading, 39(8), 12-13. Retrieved from

Having worked in semi flipped classrooms for the past couple years it seems that flipping a classroom can be an extremely successful tool for students who are willing to put in the time to independently learn material at home before coming into school the following day to receive additional guidance.  But at the same time in any classroom setting if a student is willing to independently learn material at home before a class, they will of course be more successful.    One of the exciting aspects of a flipped classroom is to be able to see students after studying material and being able to gauge them using quizzes.  It isn’t often that a teacher gets to see how a student absorbs a lesson 12 hours after it has been given and at that point being able to answer questions and provide guidance when working through classwork is a powerful learning tool.   My biggest concern is that the article uses a calculus class from an award winning school to support its point.  I’m sure there are students in calculus classrooms of a traditional sense who are extremely successful as well.  Though the theory of the flipped classroom sounds exciting and like a foolproof way of teaching it also assumes that students will take on the task of learning material on their own and if given any group of students who study at home and watch videos on lessons it would seem they would be more successful for sure.

Q1:  What is to be done about students who do not have access to computers at home?

Although we like to assume students everywhere have computers at home and are capable of watching videos on lessons previously recorded, students who are less fortunate seem to have to study the material in other ways to get the same experience as a lesson in a flipped classroom.  But again, students who face motivational issues may not be able to find creative ways of learning outside of class before coming to school.  It seems that the flipped classroom model doesn’t work for them. 

Q2:  What happens to students who miss a lesson because of uncontrollable situations and therefore are behind in their lessons when they come into class?  How do they go about learning the material?

I think this is a common enough situation that it deserves careful consideration.  Often students who face challenges at home, motivational issues, or are forced to divide their time won’t always be able to keep up with lessons and therefore their time in a classroom the next day would be wasted unless given the resources to go through the lessons within the class.  However the next problem with this is that the student may not be able to work with other students and may continually be playing catch up because the opportunity to work with others on a subject passes them by.  Perhaps it would be important for schools to be equipped with classroom computers to be able to accommodate students who need to work at their own pace.

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