A flipped classroom changes the tradition teaching methods by integrating online teachings techniques (Barseghian, 2011). Instead of the normal class teachings, teachers prepare lessons, which students view online while the normal classes are for discussions on the various concepts and further illustrations. Students get a chance to watch the lessons at home on their own time and in their own pace. Flipped classes allow students to discuss and interacts the online lessons with the teachers as well as fellow students, when in class, the students discusses among themselves the concepts offered in the lessons with the teacher acting as the instructor. Flipped classes eliminate the need for homework, as students discuss the assignment in class with their teachers.
The concept of flipped classes started in 2007 when two teachers in Woodland Park High, Jonathan Bergman, and Aaron Sams came across software that records power point presentations. They used this software to record their live class lectures and posted them online for students who missed their classes. This concept caught the eye of administrators and they requested them to teach other teachers nationally. From that humble beginning, the concept spread across many high schools.
Advantages of the flipped classroom
Flipped classroom allows students to learn at their own pace. Some students are slow learners while others are fast learners flipping classes enable students to learn without pressure of the learning environment. Teachers also have more time on their hand to explain and discuss concepts with students during normal classes instead of normal lessons. They also do not have to spend time updating students who missed classes as they can learn the lessons online. Online classes are helpful even to students who do not attend the same classes. Even teachers can use this forum to interact with other teachers and share their knowledge and experience; therefore, they can advance education (Wright, 2011).
Flipping of classes opens an avenue for more and better class schedules than traditional classes (Wright, 2011). Students can take two classes at the same time by flipping one of the classes. They can learn the lessons online and use the class time to discuss the other lesson. The internet offers reading and reference materials just like a normal class. Teachers can also direct students to relevant sites that offer various support materials for the lessons.
By flipping classes, teachers can turn normal lessons to online courses (Wright, 2011). Flipping classes allows students to chart online with fellow students and their teachers. This interactive channel allows students to respond to other students online while expressing their views and sharing ideas.
It is useful for students who do not have time for actual classes. Some students may have conflicting classes or may be late for their classes. The flipped classes allow them to read online just as if they were in normal classes. Some students may also want to take some lessons in classes outside what their schools offers, flipping of classes offers them a chance to take those classes without compromising their lessons. These way students can advance their knowledge in different avenues without compromising their normal school work.
Offering online classes eliminate the need for textbooks. Students can search all the reading materials they need from the internet. Textbooks are expensive, and parents require buying new ones every other year. Online classes allow students to assess online reading materials cheaply and conveniently. Students also do not have to carry heavy luggage of books to classes dairy as they can assess all materials they need from the internet.
Barseghian, T. (2011, Sep 8). The flipped Classroom Defined. Retrieved October 19, 2011
Wright, L. (2011). Should Schools “flip” out? – The Advantages. Retrieved October 19, 2011