Flipping the Classroom with Flipped Results

Posted by Ryan Owens on Jun 21st 2012

In parts of the country, the success rates of students in public school systems, especially at the high school level, are poor at best. Students are faced with drugs, gangs, pregnancies and even wondering where they are going to sleep at night. F’s are a common occurrence where A’s are a rarity. School is simply something they are forced to do, not something they ever enjoy. The new concept of Flipping Classrooms, first reported by Sarah Butrymowicz of Huff Post Education, looks to change all that by flipping the way a traditional curriculum is delivered.

Flipped Classrooms are designed so students never receive a traditional lecture in class; it’s given as a homework assignment. Instead, class time is spent working assignments and receiving one-on-one tutoring. In a flipped classroom, students work with teachers and with computers. Computer aided assignments are delivered at the student’s pace, monitoring and reporting back on their progress where manual assignments are handed out and can be worked on in groups with the teachers assistance available upon request. Students also work on in-class projects and can participate in open discussions with their teachers.

At home, students watch recorded lectures delivered over the Internet and are required to fill out note sheets showing they have completed each night’s lesson. This may seem counterintuitive when compared to traditional teachings, but generally produces a higher rate of success. Students are forced to listen to the lecture at a minimum to fill out the lecture notes. However, students who are truly interested in learning the material, but are not able to comprehend it when it’s first taught have the option of rewinding the video and watching it again. This allows them to work at their own pace, not the pace of the classroom as in most traditional settings, where they could easily be left behind by something they do not understand.

With proven results, a flipped classroom is truly the answer to achieve a higher level of learning by each student. It does however have its own hurdles, some of which are clearly apparent. Learning in this manner tends to be better suited to schools in more affluent neighborhoods with funds readily available for more technology in and out of the classroom. In many areas of the country, computers simply aren’t available in the classroom, much less at home. Teachers striving to achieve a better outcome for their students by using this method are sometimes faced with bringing computers to the classroom themselves. Through government and outside grants, like those often delivered through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it become much easier to fill a classroom with technology but it still does not solve the problem of computer access at home. Many students, even those fortunate enough to have a home PC, do not have a reliable Internet connection. As outlined in a new book by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day, some teachers have to think outside the box in order to achieve their overall goal. Instead of delivering lectures solely via the Internet, many copy the lecture onto DVDs, a medium that has drastically lowered in price over the last several years and one that many students can easily find a means to watch.

Though this method isn’t without its barriers, it’s certainly a new way of looking at the educational environment. At Classroom Essentials Online, we are supporters of alternate forms of education that bring added success to today’s students. We offer many products, like our Correll Flip Top Tables, that are suitable for the ever changing classroom environment and we take great pride in offering the lowest possible price to schools in need. For more information speak to one of our representatives at (866) 404-7671.