So you've read all about it, you've got all excited and can see the benefits to flipping your classroom and you're ready to get started. I've been asked a few times, "what is the best way to get started when flipping your classroom?"
Here we go then, a short, to the point guide to setting up your own flipped classroom.
Step 1: Decide which technology you will use.
Whether you use a low tech or high tech approach, choose something that suits you and your students. You must feel comfortable with what you’re using. You really don’t want to be spending hours editing video and getting frustrated, when a hand written example could do the job.
If you are creating videos, keep it short and to the point. Don’t expect your students to sit through a 45-minute video if you wouldn’t.
Step 2: Decide where you are going to upload your videos? How do my students access them?
Again, find something that suits you and your students. You could simply upload to YouTube or Vimeo and give the students a link to the video or host them on a social media site like Twitter, FaceBook, Showbie or Edmodo.
Personally, I upload my videos to YouTube as it available everywhere and on every device. I then post the link on our class Edmodo page so everyone can comment and share thoughts and ideas – start the learning before school starts.
Bottom line - make sure your videos can be accessed on multiple devices. Can everybody access your videos on a smartphone, tablet or laptop?
Step 3: Start making your videos
Your videos need to be short, to the point and entertaining. Don’t spend huge amounts of time editing, refining and adding in fancy transitions – You’re the entertainment.
If you don’t want to perform on video, use screen-casting applications like Explain Everything, Vittle or QuickTime. They record your movements on screen and your narration. Ask questions during the video, encourage your students to pause and have a go, and then check the answer.
Finally, decide how long you want your videos to be, longer videos for older students and shorter for younger.
Step 4: Introduce the concept to your students and parents
You really need to spend time on this part. Maybe use a detailed letter home, hold a presentation evening, but ultimately make sure you keep all stakeholders in the loop. Be honest and clear with everyone – this is why I’m doing this.
Spend a session with your students teaching them how to watch a video, make notes and write down next steps. Model the whole process for them, sell the concept and make it exciting.
Step 5: Make sure everyone has watched the videos
There are a few ways to make sure your students have watched the videos and you need to find a way that you feel comfortable with. Give the children a sheet to complete their notes on to bring to the next session, detailing what they learned and their next steps.
You could use a simple quiz at the start of the session to ascertain if your students have watched and understood the content of the video. None of these are fool proof, but it gives you an idea of who’s completed their pre-learning.
You are aiming for the children to feel accountable and ultimately be independent learners in time. They will see the benefit of flipped learning soon enough.
Step 6: Keep going and don’t give up!
Flipped learning takes time to embed in the classroom, but don’t give up. It will be hugely beneficial when it is fully embedded in your classroom and will give you more time with your students to push them further in their learning.
Using videos will enable students to view or review a piece of learning at anytime and anywhere. Students, parents and teacher will be put on a level playing field every time you put a video online.
Have a go, try to flip one lesson, one subject or one class for a term and see what the impact has been on you and your students. Remember you are still the biggest resource for the children and by using this approach you are giving them more access to you.