Flipped or Blended Classrooms

With the advent of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), the installation of institution-wide WiFi, and the proliferation of Smartphones, the idea of the “flipped” or “blended” classroom is becoming more mainstream.

I’ve seen it work recently, in one of my son’s business courses.  In the absence of the professor, videos of lectures where uploaded to be watched at the student’s leisure.  If questions arose from the lectures or the readings, then attending the tutorial time was recommended.

This system of learning can be successful in a post-secondary setting but what about elementary, middle, and high school?  I can see that, in the right setting, students can review material on-line outside of school hours, then use in-class time for more creative, hands-on, applications of the information.  This “flipping” of a classroom, changes the expectations for students and teachers.  Teachers have to be prepared ahead of time, with appropriate materials to be accessed from home.  Students are expected to have reviewed that material and come to school prepared to put it into action.  Teachers would be assuming that students are motivated to do the reading or listen to the lecture in their own time.  Are we also adding time, out-of-school, to children, who, through high school, are the busiest children in history? I haven’t seen this learning process in action enough to have an opinion.  The jury is still out.

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