Trending Now: Flipped Classrooms
There’s a buzzword that’s been popping up in educational discussions throughout the past few years—“flipped classroom.” What is it? Is it worth all of the attention it’s received, or is it just another trend soon to be replaced by more forward thinking concepts?
According to David Curlette, a math teacher at Dulth High School in Duluth, Georgia, his flipped classroom has resulted in accelerated learning and increased student interest.
“The first time I built a flipped classroom was about three years ago in my Trigonometry class,” says Curlette. “And the students were immediately addicted…So just that drive from the students showed me, ‘Hey, this is something that’s going to work and it’s something the students want.’”
What’s a flipped classroom?
A flipped classroom is essentially a class in which the students learn new material outside of class. Then, having learned the material, they bring that knowledge into class to discuss it, analyze it, and engage in hands-on application.
The material is provided in either written or video format, and the students can absorb the lessons at their own pace. In the case of Mr. Curlette, creating videos for his students has proven to be particularly effective.
“I build my videos on the SMART Board,” says Curlette. “I hit a record button, and as I write, it will record my voice at the same time as writing. I’ll save those and post them on YouTube and then I embed them to my website [curlettemath.com].”
Mr. Curlette then reinforces that knowledge through classroom activities.
What makes a flipped classroom successful?
According to Cynthia J. Brame, Assistant Director at the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University, there are four key elements to a successful flipped classroom model.
- Provide an opportunity for students to gain first exposure prior to class.
- Provide an incentive for students to prepare for class.
- Provide a mechanism to assess student understanding.
- Provide in-class activities that focus on higher level cognitive activities.
Get more detail about these elements of flipped classroom success at the Center for Teaching.
See the Flipped Classroom in action
This week’s content on Edivate features a video in which David Curlette demonstrates his flipped classroom model. The content also includes a downloadable guidebook that provides additional insights into using tech in the classroom and links to further resources about implementing a flipped classroom in your own school.