Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Journal #3: Upside down and inside out: Flip your classroom to improve student learning

Fulton, K. (2012). Upside down and inside out: Flip your classroom to improve student learning. Learning & leading with technology, 39(8), 12-14. Retrieved from

Summary: “Upside down and inside out” talks about a new method to teaching, the “flipped classroom.” It specifically talks about a Calculus 1 class from Minnesota. Instead of teaching a lesson to an entire class, the teacher pre-records her lessons for her students to watch at home; this frees up time to answer more specific questions that the students may have. When students come to class, they complete in-class problems and take daily quizzes to ensure understanding of the material, which can be taken independently or in groups. One of the ways they took quizzes was with a clicker, which gives teachers immediate feedback of their students’ understanding of the material. This article also talks about how students have more freedom in the classroom, such as listening to music and working where they desire. This is mostly because they do not have to focus on a lecturer. Furthermore, certain studies have found that the flipped classroom actually improves student test scores. Not only did students perform better on classroom tests, they also tested significantly higher on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment. Other subjects, such as History and English, have also started adopting the “flipped classroom” approach by using digital curriculum and e-portfolios.

Question 1: Could the flipped classroom realistically be implemented in most classrooms?

Answer: In my opinion, the flipped classroom could work very well in honors and AP classes. However, it may be hard to implement anywhere else. Students in honors and AP classes are generally very motivated; most of the time, they do not have to be prompted to do homework or study. However, not all students have such a strong work ethic; many procrastinate and fail to do their homework all together. If this were to happen in a flipped classroom, it would be much easier to fall behind than it is in a regular classroom, due to the fact that students would be missing out on many lessons/lectures.
Question 2:  Is the flipped classroom realistic for all ages?

Answer: In my opinion, the flipped classroom is only realistic for middle school and beyond. Elementary school students simply do not have the attention span and work ethic needed to complete these lessons at home; they need a teacher present to guide them and answer any questions they may have. Furthermore, teaching elementary students is much more effective when lessons are creative and hands-on. Unfortunately, this creativity and hands-on aspect is much harder to achieve when done in a virtual manner.

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