One of the most intriguing ways in which technology is entering the classroom is called “flipping.” The idea is simple: Using technology, teachers make students watch lecture videos and read course materials at home online and then class time is spent working on actual problems with other students and with the teacher, who, instead of lecturing from the front of the room can float between groups and actually spend one-on-one time with pupils.
The technologies involved are learning management systems and interactive content platforms provided by companies like McGraw-Hill, BlackBoard and others. Using these technologies, teachers can monitor which students do the work outside of class and how well they do it.
According to a Google Hangout today hosted by McGraw-Hill, both teachers and students are reporting that flipping is helping raise grades while making the learning more enjoyable and engaging. (A recording of the webcast is below.)
“Students take ownership of their own learning,” said Jeffrey Anderson, a business professor at Ohio University.
When asked about the negative effects of the method, apparently, some students complain that they can’t “procrastinate anymore,” said William Hoover, an anatomy and physiology professor at Bunker Hill Community College. While a whimsical statement, it did touch on an issue that all instructors face, which is that not all of their students will perform best under whatever teaching method they choose; that is, everyone learns differently.
While professors and students haven’t yet quite taken to e-textbooks, it’s technologies like these that publishing companies are harnessing to further engage with professors and students as technology changes the educational landscape. The participants on the webcast reported that they were still using publisher materials for the courses. Perhaps providing the flipping platforms is a conduit to ensure that professionally published course materials are used — whether digital or physical.
One more piece of good news for “flipping”: A Twitter follower asked whether teachers “have to get extra funding from the school” to flip the classroom. The answer: “No, nor do I think they would pony up the money,” one participant said.
You can view the Twitter chat around the webcast here.
Or, view the webcast here: