I run a website focused on emerging education technologies (the site’s URL is, appropriately, www.emergingedtech.com). I started EmergingEdTech shortly after I started working at The College of Westchester in 2009 (I am now CIO, and also teach as an adjunct professor). My intention was to learn about instructional uses of technology and how they can engage students and ultimately enhance learning outcomes. After a few years of learning and sharing what I learned, I found myself deeply interested in identifying instructional uses of technology that truly could make a difference. There are so many technology tools and ways to use them, it can be overwhelming, and throwing money at technologies that won’t make a real impact is a dubious proposition.
Getting to Know the Flipped Classroom
In 2010 I read an article about Salman Khan and his (at the time) fledgling Khan Academy. Not only was his work fascinating, but he introduced a concept that would quickly come to enthrall me – the flipped classroom. The idea was simple, yet struck me as potentially brilliant (so many important ideas are ultimately simple in concept). By capturing traditional lecture content in a digital format and having students consume it outside of the class, where they could rewind and replay and take in the material at a pace of their choosing, this would free up class time to be used in a much more hands on, applied manner, where the learning content could be reviewed and reinforced. There are myriad other benefits, and in practice the idea is more involved than that, but it essentially boils down to moving learning content outside of class and bringing some of the traditional homework back into the class – hence, the ‘flip’. After my first introduction to the flip, I was intrigued enough to start researching and learning more, and once I read what teachers who were using the technique and writing about it had to say, I was hooked.
Flipped Classroom Workshops & Book
During 2011 and 2012 I immersed myself in the concept of flipped instruction, reading the growing stream of new articles and blog posts being published on the topic, and as I shared what I learned and saw the high interest level, I soon started presenting on the topic at conferences and schools that invited me to speak. I developed a 4 Week Online Flipped Class Workshop that I offered via EmergingEdTech and ran my first one of these in the summer of 2012. Participants were thrilled, and so was I! By the end of 2012 I decided to roll all that I was learning into a self-contained “workshop in a book” (I wrote my first self-published digital publication, iPads in Education: Implementations, Apps, and Insights in 2012 as a first go at writing and publishing a paid eBook, and it did well, moving hundreds of copies, so doing this was not entirely new to me). I completed and published the Flipped Classroom Workshop in a Book in September of this year. I also continue to run online workshops, and the most recent one “sold out” when I signed up 33 teachers from one school all at once!
You Can Start Small!
One of the key points I frequently make about flipped teaching is that you don’t have to go into it thinking you need to screencast all of your lectures, or make some huge investment in time in order to try it. By learning a few techniques and ideas and trying them on a small scale, you can dip your toes in the water and see if you think you want to take it further. It really isn’t that hard to start learning about it. And don’t let the technology intimidate you! If you start by assigning some reading about material you would normally lecture on, or a good video you found, and then do a shorter lecture to reinforce the content, you can then use the extra class time to work on something that may have been the ‘at home’ work. With this approach, you don’t need to much (if any) technology, and you will have taken a step down the flipped instructional road. Then try something new that isn’t too challenging – voice over a PowerPoint deck, or flip an existing YouTube video using ed.ted.com, and ease into the use of tech tools that can help you develop flipped learning content.
To learn more about tools, techniques, and resources for flipping the classroom, there are dozens of articles on the topic in this post category on EmergingEdTech: http://www.emergingedtech.com/category/flipping-the-classroom-flipped-teaching/.
Evidence That it Works
One of my favorite things to share about flipped teaching is the growing body of evidence indicating that it truly can enhance learning outcomes. I share a number of stories about this in articles like, Measured Results Demonstrate Enhanced Learning Outcomes in the Flipped Classroom and, Gathering Evidence that Flipping the Classroom can Enhance Learning Outcomes.
Learning More and Staying in Touch with Flipped Teaching Developments and News
Here on FlippedClassroomWorkshop.com, once I get the basic framework in place, I will begin regularly posting a wealth of resources for teachers new to the flip who want to learn more, and for experienced flipped teaching educators who want to stay up on flipped instruction techniques, developments, news, and resources. I hope you stay in touch! I’ll me be putting up a blog posts sign-up sheet soon. In the meanwhile, if you’re a Facebook user, you can also Like the Flipped Classroom Workshop in a Book and Online Workshops Facebook Page to stay in touch!