There has been so much debate and attention to flipping the classroom. Just Google flipped classroom or Khan Academy and you’ll find plenty to read. At first I have to admit that I thought it was a great thing. Videos out there teaching my students things that I might be teaching. Not only can my students watch the videos and pause/replay all they want or need but I don’t have to make them. It sounded great, almost too good to be true. Then I started reading those who began to worry at what cost this movement was coming.
I definitely benefited from reading both sides. I know from my own experience how difficult it is to get all my students’ attention. I’m not a believer in lecturing because I know for a fact after talking to kids for 20 years, you are just not reaching many of them. I can force all 28 of them into compliance by having them be quiet and maybe even looking at me for a few seconds at a time but I’m not deluded enough to think that I’m controlling their thoughts. So when I am answering questions or giving directions, because I just don’t lecture much, I know only a few are listening and getting what I’m throwing out there. I do make it a point of starting every class by talking to the whole class making announcements, reminding them what we did, showing them what resources are available, pointing them in the right direction, and answering any questions. And again, only a few get some of what I throw out there. Most of our class periods are spent with students working on learning in their teams and on their own. And believe me, if I go on and talk too much they let me know!
Now all that being said, I found this concept of flipping the classroom very enticing. Not for content delivery, lecture. I was more thinking of all the things I show students that many aren’t ready for, that many miss parts of, or that I just go too fast showing. Things like how to use certain tech tools. What used to happen is that I’d show something on the projection device and let students try it. Then I’d go around and provide tech support and reteach how to use the tool and not about the concepts they are to learn.
So it occurred to me to try flipping that. Record the “lesson” and put it on our class Moodle! Now I don’t assign the viewing of the videos as homework, not unless they want to view it at home. If it’s homework a majority of my students won’t do it just because it’s homework and you know, that is their prerogative. So the videos are on my Moodle for students to watch in class as they need it! So far it’s been working splendidly, and while I still do a little “tech support,” I also get to spend more time giving feedback to kids as they wrestle with Science concepts!
Here are the videos I have put up so far in case you can make use of them or in case you wouldn’t mind providing some feedback so that I can improve upon them: Moodle Class Tutorial Video page.