A Fundamental Benefit of the Flipped Classroom is Getting More out of Your Classroom Time With Students
In the first two posts in this series, we explored creating and finding great flipped content and tools and techniques to help ensure that your students engage with content that you expect them to review outside of class. In this article, we wrap it up by focusing on getting the most out of the valuable class time that is made available when you flip content delivery.
Freeing up class time for more review and reinforcement, active learning, and identifying and addressing individual student needs, are key goals of flipping the classroom. These activities do not have to involve technology, but when all students have iPads accessible, it creates some unique possibilities.
Starting With Learning Content Review
It is common practice to start off class by either giving some sort of “bell ringer” activity that provides you with feedback about what students understand, and what they might be struggling with, from the learning materials they reviewed as homework after the prior class. Tools like Socrative and Kahoot can be great for quick, easy assessments at the start of class.
If you have chosen to require feedback as part of the content consumption process (as encouraged in our prior article in this series) then you may already have good feedback available. For example, if you used the WSQ technique, some the questions that students asked in the assignment may serve as an indicator of misunderstandings, and many of the questions can make for a good jump off point for discussion.
After reviewing this feedback, you will likely want to spend some time lecturing about and/or discussing those topics that students may have struggled with. You may want to bring up the original learning materials and focus on specific sections, or you could use different supporting materials to dive into a topic more deeply, or lecture and demonstrate applications of a topic, as you see fit.
Some teachers in the iPad classroom may have students use apps like Evernote, iBooks, or Goodreader, to take notes or highlight content while reading, listening, and/or watching digital learning materials. The start of class and this review period is a good opportunity for students to reference these notes, links, etc., as part of the review of the material.
Reinforcing Content and Concepts with Active Learning and Interactive Collaboration
When it comes to the reinforcement of learning through hands on activities, the iPad offers many possibilities, in the form of both iPad apps and Web apps.
General Tools that Support Active Learning and Interactive Collaboration on the iPad
When students can work together as a class or in groups, it can be very engaging. This idea can be applied to many types of lessons. Here are a few good collaboration apps:
- Educreations Interactive Whiteboard (https://itunes.apple.com/app/educreations-interactive-whiteboard/id478617061): Multiple users can edit this whiteboard at the same time!
- Google Drive (https://itunes.apple.com/app/google-drive/id507874739): You can share and collaboratively edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with Google Drive.
- Padlet (https://itunes.apple.com/app/padlet/id834618886): Padlet is a blank canvas to create beautiful projects that are easy to share and collaborate on.
- Twitter (https://itunes.apple.com/app/twitter/id333903271): Twitter can be a great collaboration tool. Students can post thoughts, links, pics, etc., around a selected topic, and tie it together using a unique hashtag to collaborate.
Subject Specific Apps
Whether you are working in a science class, the arts, the humanities, or any other subject, there are probably some apps that are designed specifically for the academic subject you are teaching. Here are a few examples.
- English: The flipped English classroom provides an opportunity to read and review reading materials together. Subtext can help engage students while reading digital materials outside of the classroom or in it. Students in English can also access a wealth of research and other materials related to works of literature, poetry, and other writing, using the endless resources available via the Internet. Read how Alison Edwards uses the app Subtext in her English classroom in this article.
- Math: There are many Math apps for the iPad. This article discusses 5 free math games appropriate for elementary grades. Of course, there are more options than just games. Some examples would be MathBoard and Math Drills.
- Foreign Language classes: One of the best things about flipping the foreign language classroom is that you can use class time to speak the language! For apps that are helpful in the Foreign Language Classroom check out, “15+ Apps that can Facilitate the Vital Element of Immersion in Foreign Language Teaching” by Franca Gilbert.
- Science: The iPad enables the creation of interactive labs for the science classroom. Not only can these types of labs prove engaging and more readily repeatable than some traditional labs, they can even save schools money (check out this article on virtual dissections from Punflay).
Engaged Learning With Augmented Reality Apps
We’re seeing an explosion of free and low cost augmented reality tools for education lately. Augmented reality (AR) has evolved in recent years and its application in classrooms can be very engaging! There are useful apps for every subject and there are also apps that when a teacher is ready they can create their own AR targets.
Here are a few fun examples:
- AR Flashcards – Shapes & Colors (Free – http://arflashcards.com/ar-flashcards-shapes-colors/): App to help students learn colors and shapes.
- Elements 4D (Free – http://elements4d.daqri.com/): AR Chemistry app that brings the elements to life. It includes lesson plans for all levels: elementary, intermediate, and high school.
- Anatomy 4D (Free – daqri.com/project/anatomy-4d/): Bring the human body to life and have students learn about the different systems and human anatomy with this app.
Check out this article to learn about 6 more fun free or low cost AR apps for the classroom.
So there you have it, lots of apps and ideas for active learning in the iPad-equipped flipped classroom!