Great Dialogue at ISTE about the Flipped Classroom!

On my first night in Philadelphia for the ISTE Conference, I found myself at a wonderfully delicious dinner with great educators from around the country - all tied to TechSmith in one way or another. TechSmith is the makers of screen capturing software like Jing and Camtasia and the majority of the teachers at dinner use their software to "flip" their classrooms.

The concept in simple - in a traditional classroom, the teacher ;lectures all period long and then sends students home to work on "homework." Many times, the result is students sitting at home staring blankly at an assignment they don't understand trying to make sense of lecture notes they took. In a lot of cases, even the best-intended parents can't help because they don't understand the material. The next day, the teacher spends much of the period reteaching and then the cycle starts all over.

So, to combat this cycle, these teachers have "flipped" their classrooms. Using simple to use software like Jing or Camtasia, these teachers record their lectures. They capture Powerpoint presentations, videos, audio, and more. The, they assign the lectures as the "homework" for class. Students spend their time at home watching the lecture, taking notes, stopping, rewinding, and re-watching if needed. Then, during traditional class time, the teachers and students can work on the application of that knowledge together!

Students love it because the lectures are available at any time. They can even download the lectures to their mobile devices. The teachers (all secondary teachers at this time) only have to deliver their lecture once. Parents can now help because they can watch the videos too! They all say that grades have risen dramatically and that discipline is better. They attribute the improvement in discipline to the relationships they can now build when working with students one on one.

It's a terrific idea! At Cole, we have one high school science teacher who tested the waters last year and will expand his "flipped" opportunities next year. Here's a great video about Aaron Sams from Colorado who were at dinner last night:


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