Marci_Powell
Polycom Employee

I have been participating in a LinkedIn forum discussing flip learning for secondary and tertiary education recently that has brought the subject of Flip Learning once again to the surface.

 

Taken from Elliott's blog posting prior to Learning 2010, "Flip Happens - Reversing Process for Teaching? My colleague, Dan Pink has written about the concept of “Flip Thinking”. In a recent article,  Dan talks about experiments in reversing the “natural” sequence of things.  For example, what if a teacher was to give the lectures as homework and the activities shift to the classroom?  The author of the now viral “Shift Happens” slideshow has been doing that for high school algebra. He provides videos of the lectures for the students to view before class and uses in-class time for questions, discussions and practice.  There is great promise for flipping processes in learning and education. Check out Dan’s article at http://tinyurl.com/3ybwox7"

 

Likewise we see this in higher education. At Texas State University, the instructor records their lecture and makes it available to the students to view outside of class. Students are responsible for viewing the lecture as their “homework.” When the students come to class, they work problems, have interactive discussions and do other tasks that traditional deliver simply would not allow because that block of time was previously devoted to the lecture.

 

But I believe we have to credit Khan Academy for perpetuating the idea of Flipped Learning by use of video lessons or pre-captured lectures to the mainstream. A few months ago, while keynoting in South Africa, I mentioned Sal Khan and his amazing academy in my speech. Though I don't know why, I was actually surprised to find in the audience a teacher who solely uses Khan Academy for presenting the concept prior to class and then flips her classroom as described above.

 

I suppose the surprise was how far reaching his video lessons have gone rather than surprise over her flipping her classroom. In fact, I believe many of us have been using this pedagogical best practice for years upon years. The difference is now, we have easy and intuitive ways we can capture our lectures or content and make them available. It has simply enabled us to be more innovative with our approach and methods.

 

Having such an easy way to create and manage video content really excites me as an educator. I am thrilled that we can easily transform our learning environments and flip our classrooms.  I am excited for technology sake but about what we as educators can do with it!!!!  It is about the application of the technology.

 

Here's to flipping our learning environments!

 

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