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Online Guides Help Teachers Flip Their Classrooms
The flipped classroom (see Flipped Learning Founders Set the Record Straight) is getting national attention from esteemed sources including National Public Radio. Online commenters on that program discussed the merits of having students watch videos and use other materials to learn lesson objectives at home and then spend class time with the teacher doing hands-on project work. This reversal of the traditional learning sequence led to the term “flipped classroom,” and has also had led to a slew of questions among teachers who are flipping or have flipped their classrooms.
Enter the Flipped Learning Network™ Ning. Described as “a professional learning community for teachers using screencasting in education,” the site brings together related cloud resources and offers forums, groups, video lessons, and professional training for teachers. The community includes more than 10,000 members, including educators, who talk about successfully (and unsuccessfully) flipping. They share best practices, solve problems, and offer their most successful lessons—all free of charge.
For those who don’t know how to create a video, there is How to Create an Interactive YouTube Vdeo. Want an example of how to be “creative” with a video? Sort the videos by “most popular” and enjoy the cheesy, yet effective (according to the comments section) Variables Song, which, “written to the tune ‘I'll Be There’ … will help students to know the difference between the variables.” In another video, a teacher describes how she handles disruptive students in the flipped classroom. There are also instructional videos, such as Just How Small is an Atom?, a re-posted Ted-Ed animation.
Another resource is Flippedclassroom.org, which has an active list of 72 groups arranged by subject areas (mathematics, ARTS), grade levels (elementary, middle school), specialty teaching areas (librarians/media specialists, special ed flippers), and flipping resources (The Writing Behind the Video, Writing Virtual Textbooks for Flipped Classes), to name just a few.
Users can also start new groups. The First Time Flippers is the largest group (with 522 members), but the number of professionals using the site has doubled in six months, with more added every time the flipping creators, Jon Bergman and Aaron Sams, host another conference.
Margo Pierce is a Cincinnati-based freelance writer.