"Flipping the Classroom" is a recent and exciting idea that is emerging in the education world today. Bill Gates and Nobel Peace prize winner Carl Wieman, an advisor of President Obama are just two of the many proponents of this concept. Teachers everywhere are beginning to embrace "Flipped Learning" at the elementary and secondary level for all disciplines.

In a traditional classroom, the teacher often stands at the front of the room and explains content in the form of a lecture as the students sit at their desks while listening and taking notes. The teacher will then assign homework which the students must complete to practice the concepts addressed in the lecture. As times are changing and technology is advancing and becoming more common in the classroom, this traditional learning style can be considered to some as outdated.

In a flipped classroom, the situation is reversed. The teacher's lectures are delivered outside the traditional class time, using technology tools such as video, podcasts, or PowerPoint, that students view on their own time as homework. Students then use class time to engage in active problem solving, collaborative projects, and content exploration with the teacher available for assistance. Instead of being a "sage on the stage," the teacher is a "guide on the side" giving individualized attention and guidance to each student.

"The Flipped Classroom Defined"

Some teachers who use flipped learning create their own lectures using resources like TeacherTube, the ShowMe app, or a voice recording tool. Other teachers choose to provide their students with a link to an available resource like a video from ViHart, Khan Academy, the Teaching Channel, TED-Ed, or YouTube EDU.

Khan Academy is one of the largest virtual schools and also is an excellent resource for Flipped Learning. In addition to the thousands of video lectures in various fields of study that are provided on this website, there are also practice exercises available for students to enhance their understanding of the content. Also, real-time data reports are available for students and teachers to view which is a great tool to monitor progress and understanding as well as see what topics need to be reviewed.

Video interview with creator of Khan Academy, Salman Khan, discussing flipped learning


Benefits of Flipped Learning:
  • For Teachers:
    • Reach students at varying levels of understanding and skill
    • Way to cope with large class sizes
    • Spend class time providing personal support
    • Save from having to cram overviews, explanations, and homework review in a short class period
    • Instead of giving the same explanation over and over, a teacher can capture their explanation once on a video or audio, and spend time and energy on individualizing instruction
  • For Students:
    • Video is a more efficient way to deliver lectures because they can be rewound and watched until they are understood
    • Can work at their own pace and review as needed
    • Doing homework in class works better because teachers can help students struggle through problems they might otherwise abandon if they are alone at home