Think Tank: Flip-thinking – the new buzz word sweeping the US
Lectures at night, “homework” during the day. Call it the Fisch Flip. “When you do a standard lecture in class, and then the students go home to do the problems, some of them are lost. They spend a whole lot of time being frustrated and, even worse, doing it wrong,”
The main idea behind reverse instruction is to provide students with a daily video lecture of the topic or concepts that will be discussed in class the following day. The benefits are obvious. The students have access to the material well in advance of the class. The have the opportunity to watch it, review the concepts, replay parts they didn’t understand, take notes in spaces meaningful to them, and most importantly remix in order to make clearer connections to the content.
The flipping trend is not exclusive to the world of education as Pink reports. Take for example Starbucks. There was a time where wifi was available for an added cost. Now independent workers, small entrepreneurs, and grad students can get free wifi with the purchase of a cup of coffee. They have essentially created a new kind of work space and their business if benefiting from the new found clientele.
So the question is how does this fit into my class. Why should I do it? Is it worth the investment in time? Will the kids buy in? I have done some research on this, and have spoken with some people who are fully immersed in the flipped classroom model. My impressions are as follows:
- This is a commitment in time to both your students and yourself
- There will be bumps in the road
- You will question yourself endlessly
- You may not see immediate results
- The results you will see will be hard to quantify
- You will get little support
For a new or inexperienced teacher these are obstacles that are difficult to overcome. My thinking is that this is a process that takes time to implement. I would probably take baby steps. Start with short videos (5 minutes) which cover the main ideas of each unit, giving your students the surface information needed. Discuss these ideas in class and allow them to ask lots of questions.
One interesting suggestion I found came from John Sowash He suggests putting in a hidden number of code word in each of the videos and having his students submit that secret to him. This puts some accountability on the students to watch the video and pay attention.
I still have questions about how to implement this with students who have limited or no access to the technology. Is the great “Digital Divide” as prevalent as I am lead to believe? How do I meet these disadvantaged students in the middle.
Here is a sample video I found on YouTube from Karl Fisch. I don’t find it particularly engaging or interesting. How can we make these videos more interesting?