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Let the flipping begin

March 10, 2022

What is flipping the classroom?

Everyone has a different definition of what flipping the classroom is. My favorite definition comes from the Bok Center at Harvard and they state:

A flipped classroom is structured around the idea that lecture or direct instruction is not the best use of class time. Instead students encounter information before class, freeing class time for activities that involve higher order thinking.

To me, “flipping” is a means to an end that helps solve some of the problems that I have had in the classroom so far. I have 3 hours with my students and I have been spending a lot of that time lecturing. In my opinion the time that I spend lecturing (and some of them sleeping) is not what is the most conducive to learning. I want to maximize the time we have in class to do hands on activities and get extra practice in with the hardware that we have available.

So how do you plan to do this “flip”?

As much as I want to do the traditional TJ (bite off more than I can chew) and go full steam ahead. My plan is to take this slow. I have started off by recording the syllabus and doing a brief overview of the course. In an effort to keep it simple, I am recording my lessons on an Android tablet with a tool called Loom. In the future I will share my trials and tribulations but at this point (1 video in) it has gone pretty smooth.

This course has 20 modules in it, so my goal is to record the first few videos this week so I am ready to start with the last 9 weeks starting on Monday. From that point I will be able to record lectures and stay a few modules ahead of the students. These videos will be only one of the avenues of delivering the information my students to know, but my plan is to also mix in podcasts and YouTube videos from other creators if a concept isn’t making sense for them.

What will a daily lesson look like?

So I am approaching this from two different audiences, obviously my high school students are the #1 focus but I am also uploading the videos to YouTube in an effort to help others on their IT journey. So my lessons online are going to be mostly lecture based and not a ton of hands on. My high school students will be the exact opposite, my plan is to spend at least 150 minutes a day on hands on activities like labs and learning games. This will allow me enough time to work with my students 1:1 a lot more. I have started building out the course in Google Classroom as you can see below.

In the future I want to explore some of the research behind mastery learning and having students work even more autonomously.

What are your next steps?

Grind away at making videos and getting constant feedback from my students to make sure they are staying on track and finding more value in flipping the classroom. This will be a constantly changing project and one that I hope will have a positive affect on my pedagogical process and how I educate tomorrows technology workforce.

Have you flipped your classroom? If so what worked and what didn’t?Any tips you would like to share?