The Flipped Classroom

I’ve been a bit interested in the Flipped Classroom lately; the idea of turning things on their head so that the predicatable, the ordinary and the mundane gets tackled with technology and the real learning takes place in the classroom.

I became interested in this a while ago, even bought a microphone to do more podcasting and audio with my own class and collected a list of resources and made a Diigo list of them, as you do. []

But there’s another side to this too. A nagging concern that what might come out of this movement is not the freeing up of the classroom, but the intrusion of the bureaucracy, the big business backed educational resource sites such as the Khan Academy.

How many teachers, in reality, will have the energy, motivation or expertise to develop their own material? Our educational institutions really going to free up teacher time to develop new resources in new technologies?

And, if they don’t, aren’t we going to end up with mass-market resources that don’t fit my classroom and my students or my course?

I can imagine that a closely knit, organised and cohesive team of teachers working together on a course could collaborate closely enough and effectively enough to generate resources together. I can imagine that such a team, with perhaps two or three staff with expertise in new technologies feeding into the main team, could in fact create a course that was flipped. But I can’t see it happening often in the daily, stretched lives of the teachers.

Perhaps flipping the classroom makes more sense the universities with a lecture model still predominates. And where perhaps hundreds or thousands of students undertaking the same course. But I want personalised resources of my students doing my course at the right time, appropriate to the level of ability and the timing of the course. Which means I may have to create them myself.

And, if flipping the classroom means we all go home to watch YouTube, then I’m against it.