I am thrilled at all the chatter surrounding the so called “flipped” classroom. It is not a new concept. It was pioneered by two very forward thinking teachers in a rural school and actually predates YouTube and online video. However, it was highlighted at the recent ITSE Conference and new discussions have emerged in blogs and forums.
In short, flipping a classroom means that the lesson or the lecture that would ordinarily be delivered during class time is instead captured in some form such as a vodcast (video) and the viewing assigned as homework. Students return the next day and utilize class time in small groups to tackle the work there instead of at home, consult with the instructor, complete labs, and essentially answer all of their “homework” questions.
It seems simple, but it is indeed revolutionary and is exactly what is needed to promote quality learning, student teacher interaction and communication as well as the kind of group interactivity the future demands. Students don't need a teacher physically there to present the concepts, they need a teacher to help them understand the concepts. Flipping a class is a clear demonstation that a school is responding to sociological tends and adapting to meet today’s student where their needs are. Perhaps the most import thing is that whatever technology a teacher enlists to flip the class, it will certainly rank at least as high as a classroom projector and whiteboard, interactive projector, laptops at every desk and the speediest internet connection.