Is it too soon to flip your classroom?
Blog Editor’s Note: The conversation around flipping the classroom is ongoing with many great ideas surfacing as well as pitfalls to avoid. Nick Friedman, guest contributor on Pearson’s Labs blog, has an interesting perspective as he examines when it is too soon to flip your classroom.
When a teaching model is singled out as one of the top “ed tech trends to watch for in 2015” teachers take notice. Such is the case with the flipped classroom, which both ZDNet andInformation Week identified as primed for growth this year.
It’s no surprise given recent data. Though no long-term studies exist yet as to the efficacy of the flipped classroom, schools around the world are intrigued. According to the Flipped Learning Network, the number of U.S. teachers who flipped at least one lesson in their classroom rose from 48 percent in 2012 to 78 percent in 2014. Schools in the UK, India, and China are also upending classrooms.
So does that mean that 2015 will be the Year of the Flipped Classroom? Not so fast.
Steep learning curve
For all the online resources now available to flipped teachers since the trend first emerged in earnest three years ago, making the switch is not a simple turnkey operation. Adjusting to the technical demands of producing quality videos, as well as ongoing fine-tuning the model to manage workflow and engage students, requires a major commitment of time, energy, and effort.
Hassan Wilson, an eighth grade biology teacher at Friends Seminary in New York, has first hand experience with those challenges. The 13-year classroom veteran made the flip in the final quarter of the 2012-13 academic year after concluding that too few students raised their hands to answer questions on days he lectured. “Flipping was my way to maximize student participation without watering down the content,” he says.
In his blog, “Wilson’s Flipped Lab,” Wilson documents the “experiments, successes, and failures with the flipped classroom.” It reveals the ever-evolving nature of one teacher’s role within the context of the model.