“Flipping” the classroom

Thanks to myriad online resources such as Khan Academy and ever-simpler ways to digitize everything, classroom teachers are increasingly able to integrate technology into their course outlines. My latest favorite is the concept of “flipping” the classroom. That is, sending lectures home (largely via online videos) and doing “homework” in the classroom, where the students have the opportunity to access their teachers and peers when confronted with difficult material. With any luck, this kind of innovation will eventually make my work obsolete (or finally get me into a classroom!). Here the Washington Post does a nice overview. (Or watch the TED talk by Salman Khan where he touches on this subject here.)


  1. Reinventing Education? Posted Thursday, April 7, 2011 by Rachael Walsh I’ve visited scloohs (Technology-focused charter scloohs) that give all of their students net-books to take home & to use during class. It’s pretty awesome, and they are accountable for taking care of their net-book. Everything about the classroom and curriculum is centered around technology (the classrooms are even set up to give the feel of a college setting). So this kind of concept would work in scloohs that already make this part of their mission.But in an urban setting, where you students don’t even show up to class and sometimes don’t even have a home to go to, they can’t be entrusted with an expensive piece of technology that would most likely be sold or destroyed. Making tutoring labs available for urban kids to utilize this technology would be a better solution.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. How is this scalable? I’ve heard of charter schools that choose to operate as boarding schools for very similar reasons. But we can’t reasonably expect everyone to begin attending boarding school at age 12. What about expanding access to libraries? Or extending after-school care to include quiet rooms for kids to listen to their lectures? (I think this is what you’re suggesting, actually.) There’s a lot more to be accounted for, but the idea that’s important to me is that of trading lecture time and homework time; how best to let the kids access the lectures is, I think, the (very important) implementation step.

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