Friday, October 7, 2011

Flip and Blend Your Classroom

I've written about the benefits of the blended learning and flipped classroom here before (and cross posted over at VFLR), but I think this article does a great job of describing its origins and benefits. Flip teaching is, in my mind, an important piece of figuring out the Blended Learning puzzle and is quickly becoming part of mainstream educational practice. While flip teaching, and blended learning for that matter, could be dismissed as a fad, I would argue that technology has made this shift in teaching possible. If "fad" equals "new" then it's true. Flipping our classrooms wouldn't be possible without computers, screencasting software, Moodle, and a reliable network. At some point in time the tools we use to teach with were new and yet now books, paper, chalkboards/whiteboards, projectors, computers, etc. are all part of the everyday practice for many of us. Is flipping now possible because technology finally caught up to what we needed all along?

But despite it being new on the educational scene, it comes from a place of genuine commitment to teaching and learning. I think it will help us reclaim that part of teaching that gets lost in increased class size and shrinking chunks of time to meet with students outside of class. What would change if we could tap each of our students on the shoulder every day to ask how their learning is going? What would that look like?