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Techniques: Flipped Learning

2013/11/14

How is technology being used in your classes? Do you ever bust out the Smart Board, the iPad, or fire up the lights in the computer lab? Or is it just that sneaky student texting on their phone behind your back?

Largely, the Japanese education system is very conservative when it comes to adopting technology. Who knows why? Maybe they were burned in the past from buying too many gadgets that never got used? But nowadays most High School or Junior High School students have phones that are more powerful than the Windows 95 machines collecting dust in the lab.

This dissemination of accessible technology has sparked educational revolutions abroad. Have you ever heard of the term "Flipped Teaching?" The name comes from reversing the role of the classroom. Traditionally, students gather in the classroom to listen to the teacher lecture and explain (I'm sure most of us try to keep that interesting and active), but after class students are meant to go home and do the classwork alone. With flipped teaching, the teacher provides an online video, PDF, or presentation which the students are meant to do BEFORE class. This frees up the classroom time to do activities together, with the teacher in the room!
(OMG! No Homework?)

I'm not sure which is actually tougher on the teachers, and students, as there's a big change in how content is taught and created. But pretty much everyone is happy getting their hands on that shiny shiny tech. So most teachers report that it works very well in improving class involvement and motivation. Students can watch lecture videos as many times as they like, and the teacher can go the extra mile to include fancy editing techniques, youtube videos, or even online games or whatever else they can find online. (Downloadable lesson plans? oh yeah.)

Some popular tools are... Nearpod for the iPad. All your students have iPads, right?
No? That's OK, try Blendspace it's free, and available to many different devices.

Imagine it now, you make a video that zooms on your mouth enunciating your L's and R's. You could have gorgeous COLOR flashcards (because printing them is too expensive, right?). Honestly, the possibilities are enormous, and it's still a fresh concept which you might help evolve!

So why not try flipping your lessons from time to time? Can you imagine doing it at your school? If not, maybe you should flip them off... to go look at this video explaining flipped learning. Happy flipping!

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