I have been hearing a lot about Flipped Classrooms. While in theory, this sounds really great – a way to give autonomy to students. But is it really working? This whole concept seems to be related to my essential question of balancing technology and traditional eduction. I actually spoke with a high school teacher this weekend who is considered one of the top in her field in the state of North Carolina. She said that at the school where she teaches, two teachers have gone to completely flipped classrooms. Part of the nature of the subject she teaches, is that she can observe and listen students a lot. She learns which classes students like, which they think they are getting the most from and which classes they they are worthless. Overwhelmingly, she said that those classes are not viewed well by student or parents. Presumably the idea is that the lectures will be viewed online or with different technological tools on the students own time and then the class time will be spent with the students working on the homework and the teacher helping students individually as they need it. Again, in theory this sounds grand. But do all students have access to a computer or to the internet? A lot of educators, administrators and government entities make that broad sweeping assumption that all students do. But this just isn’t the case yet.
We are also led to believe that the teacher will put together an effective online lecture. Lectures are often dynamic and things are learned WHILE they are being given as new ideas and questions occur to students. By having the students essentially have to wait to ask questions this can deter them from even remembering what they want to ask.
I am by no means dismissing the idea of a flipped classroom, but merely wonder if it is a correct approach to all classes and in all cases.
I was sent this link to some different tools that can be used for Flipped classrooms. I think like most things in the hands of someone who is competent and truly cares about their students, then this technology and the concept of a Flipped class could work effectively.