What does student engagement look like?
A teacher located center stage? Tidy rows of silent, wide-eyed pupils? Imagine the exact opposite of this and you’d get professor Andrew Martin’s classroom. Here’s how a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education describes his evolutionary-biology class at the Universtiy of Colorado:
80 students gather in groups, shouting and debating with one another as Martin looks on. He is pleased with the controlled chaos. Some students sit, some stand in the aisles between chairs; others move out into the hallways or towards the front of the classroom. While students work in small groups to solve the assigned problem, Martin begins circulating from group to group, answering questions and posing new ones.
Educators like Paulo Freire and Michael Kahn might have described this approach as “Problem-posing education,” or “barn raising education,” respectively, but more recently, educators have dubbed classrooms like Martin’s the “flipped classroom.”
The Flipped Classroom
Flipped classrooms invert the old paradigm: There is still a transferal of information (lecture, that is), but thanks to simple technology, the lecture happens outside classrooms so that class time can be spent engaging with hands-on curriculum.
Flipped classrooms subscribe to the idea that students cannot learn while being passive—so they aren’t. In the flipped class, students gather information outside of class by watching short lectures or video clips (these are either uploaded to YouTube or on burned DVDs) or listening to podcasts. Technological innovation has made the dissemination of substantive, reliable information simple. As a result, more and more teachers are beginning to wonder why they should spend class time delivering a lecture when their students can receive the information on their own schedule and via a medium that allows them to rewind, pause or view multiple times.
Resources and Useful Articles
Khan Academy: Access Khan’s collection of 3,200 videos that covers K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even reaches into the humanities with playlists on finance and history. Each video is approximately 10 minutes long and is completely free.
The Flipped Class: Myths Vs. Reality: This article was originally published in The Daily Riff in July, 2011; it was written by Jon Bergmann, Jerry Overbyer and Brett Willie, three teachers who have been credited as some of the first teachers to flip their classrooms.
Educator’s Voice: What’s All this Talk about Flipping?: A substantial and well-researched article written by Pamela Kachka, M.A.Ed. See Kachka’s works cited page for more helpful resources.
Technology is rapidly changing and Marygrove College wants to help you stay current. If you are interested in successfully integrating educational technology into your school or classroom, learn more about Marygrove College’s online Master of Education in Educational Technology program!
Our Educational Technology program is one of several other graduate programs whose tuition rates have been reduced by 19 percent! This is one step—amongst a few others—that the college is taking to ensure that a Marygrove education is an achievable, financially-sustainable investment.