Over the summer, I took Integrating Technology Into Programming, Services, and Instruction. In that class, we explored new and interesting ways to deliver instruction to students. One topic that stuck with me is that of Blended Learning and the Flipped Classroom. If you’re unfamiliar, blended learning is the combination of brick and mortar learning and e-learning. Both are awesome approaches to teaching in the modern classroom.
Blended Learning- Current Use, Challenges, and Best Practices. (2013). [What is Blended Learning]. The Oxford Group for City & Guilds Kineo. Retrieved from https://elearninginfographics.com/blended-learning-infographic-2/.
It doesn’t surprise me that educators are interested in this kind of learning. If 86% of teachers are willing to give this a shot, you know that there’s some merit here. So much is expected in a certain amount of classroom minutes, but there’s never any wiggle room for emergencies, assemblies, behavior problems, technical malfunctions, etc. So, if educators can begin using Blended Learning or the Flipped Classroom model, that frees up so much time in the classroom for the work part of the assignment.
Here’s a quick Youtube video about the flipped classroom and blended learning.
Sprouts. (2015, September 28). The Flipped Classroom Model. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdKzSq_t8k8.
In the infographic below, you see how the class period is split: 65-80 minutes a week where the students are learning new material and then there is only 21-28% of the time left to help students understand what they’re supposed to be learning. That’s nowhere near the amount of time they need for individual attention. And let’s not mention the amount of time you lose, in general, because it’s a Tuesday after a long weekend where it’s raining, an awards show was on Sunday night, and there’s a full moon on the horizon…
Flipped Learning the Big Picture. (2015). Circulus Education. Retrieved from https://elearninginfographics.com/flipped-learning-big-picture-infographic/
- Gives students some autonomy over their learning
- Frees up classroom time for the work part of lessons because all of the instruction is done online
- Stronger motivation to learn online and develop their interests
- More specialized learning for students- no “one size fits all” curriculum
- Establishes purposeful homework
- Creative collaboration with teachers and classmate
The drawbacks (and these are pretty important limitations):
- Students are 100% responsible for their independent learning
- Students must have internet access and a device to do the work at home (and some districts, like mine, do not provide devices to students)
- Teachers will do way more preparation to “front load” for the lessons
With all of the money school districts spend on initiatives and whichever curriculum is slated to be the next big thing, why wouldn’t they take that money and invest it in the actual kids and teachers. Get them tablets that they can use at home for these assignments. Let’s get back to common sense teaching. Watch the lessons at home, take notes, come in with questions, email teachers for more help. Then, come in ready to do the actual work in class. Sit in groups that make sense, assign peer tutors, and allow teachers to help reinforce skills and utilize every single minute in the classroom for the real work.