Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Journal 3: Upside Down and Inside Out

Journal #3: Upside Down and Inside Out: Flip Your Classroom to Improve Student Learning.(NETS 2 and 3)

Fulton, K. (2012). Upside down and inside out: Flip your classroom to improve student learning. Learning and leading with Technology, 39(8), 12-14. Retrieved from

Summary: This article outlines a new idea of a “flipped” classroom and discusses some of the ways it has worked well and some of the problems that teachers, students and parents have encountered in it’s early stages. Math teachers at Byron High School in Minnesota adopted this alternative way to present curriculum without the need for expensive textbooks. The idea is that teachers in each subject area work together to create videos for students to watch at home and reserve class time for collaborative practice on problems. It has proved to be very successful so far for the teachers at Byron High School who have adopted it. They have seen increases of 5-10% in proficiencies in different math classes at their school. This is promising and has inspired other teachers in other areas of the school to also use this approach.

Q1: Do I see this “flipped classroom” idea working in my own math class as a teacher?
A1: I can definitely see myself using this technique in my own classroom in the future. Although I do not necessarily see myself using it as the sole method of instruction, I see the benefit in using this approach sometimes, when I think that the students could use more time, help and collaboration in class to work problems rather than listening to a lecture during class and practicing problems at home. I love that this provides an interactive class dynamic, not only between the students and teacher, but also between students.

Q2: What do I see being the strengths and weaknesses of this approach from my point of view as a former student in math classes?
A2: When I was in high school, I was part of a peer tutoring program in which I helped fellow students. Through this I saw the benefit of peer collaboration and I think that is one of the main strengths of this idea. Allowing students to collaborate and work together in class with teacher facilitation seems like a great way to ensure that students learn to work together, while also benefiting from teacher instruction at home. The main concern that I do see, which was addressed in the article, is that not everyone has a computer at home. I think this could be something that could be solved by the collaboration that happens in class. As a teacher, I can suggest that, if possible, students can watch the lesson videos together, encouraging students who have access to a computer at home to allow others to watch with them. Otherwise, I would make sure that school computers or public library computers would be available to view the lessons.

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