I have not written for almost two weeks now. Half of the reason is because of writer's block, another half because school is crazy, and a third half because of some family issues that came up unexpectedly. I opened up my blog a few times with intention to write, but I could not get anything to form. But that's okay. It gave me time to reflect on other's posts and thoughts while trying to get all of mine to fit in my head.
There has been a lot happening with the Flipped Classroom recently...almost too much to list. For example:
- The Flipped Classroom book by Jon and Aaron being published by ISTE had its release date moved up a month because of high demand.
- Ted-Ed launched.
- The Flipped Learning Network began.
- The Flipped Class Network NING passed 4000 registered members.
- The #flipclass hashtag on Twitter is exploding with links, articles, and connections.
Plus, dozens of articles on the flipped classroom.
As I have been reading and following articles and discussions, one thing stood out: the prevailing description of the flipped classroom is "videos at home, 'homework' in school." And this bothers me.
The biggest complaint I hear from flipped class skeptics is that it still relies on homework and technology use. Any ideology that relies on any one tool is doomed. If your class relies on textbooks and kids do not bring their book, what will you do with no redundancy built in?
What is missed in so many articles on the flipped classroom is the fact that it does not rely on homework or video. That is simply one iteration of a larger process.
I have a flipped classroom, but I do not assign homework nor do I require students to watch lecture videos. What I do expect students to do is drive their own learning rather than relying on someone else (me) to crack the whip behind them. That is what the flipped classroom is about...reversing the learning roles. Not the video. Not the technology.
If you are a flipper, I want to encourage you to change the discussion focus from video to how we can better support student learning in a flipped classroom. What works well for you? What did not work well for you? How has your teaching changed since flipping? I do realize that video is a great tool in flipping, but it really is the smallest part of the puzzle and does not accurately represent the whole picture. If we want to move forward, we need to start having more deeper, connective conversations with other educators, just like we try to with our students.