The Flipped Learning Network
Put simply, the usual structure is that children learn content in class and sometimes apply and assess this knowledge out of class in the form of homework, for example. With flipped learning, the reverse happens. Students learn the content (the simpler task) before class and therefore use class time to discuss, apply and deepen knowledge (the more complex task) through interacting with their peers. The accessibility of online content creation and distribution provides us with the perfect toolkit for effective flipped learning to take place. Case studies have found that as a result of flipped learning class attendance and student grades improve (Hamdan et al. 2013).
In the above definition of ‘Flipped Learning’ provided by The Flipped Learning Network, a few words immediately stand out: ‘dynamic’ ‘interactive’ ‘engage’ ‘creatively’ – a teacher’s paradise. The students are gaining a multitude of life skills with this approach. Independence, communication, teamwork, problem solving, deep learning and so much more. Flipped learning is a great step in redefining the teacher-student classroom dynamic. The teacher now has more space to monitor and coach students in a more personalised and organic fashion. It allows for more personalised learning and students that miss class can easily catch up through sites such as Get My Grades, Khan Academy, and Edmodo.
As innovatively simple as flipped learning is, this does not mean all signs of structure are to be abandoned. Differentiation, behaviour management, assessment for learning etc. are now more necessary and crucial than ever to ensure that the learning space is both engaging and productive. Now I’m sure there are some teachers and parents alike who are thinking ‘This won’t work with my student/child’ and that is one of the challenges of this approach – it only works if the students themselves invest fully. With the time pressure and content heavy curriculum, educators will need to decide when this will be effective and how often. Flipped learning is great because it prioritises learning, which is a breath of fresh air. Our job now is to ensure that we can employ this model efficiently, productively and realistically.
In case you ever forget what flipped learning is, here’s a handy acronym from The Flipped Learning Network:
F Flexible environment – space, mode of delivery and timelines for learning;
L Learning culture – a learner centred approach to encourage deep learning;
I Intentional content – that maximises learning;
P Professional educator – who guides learning and continuously improves practice.
So, hopefully this gives you a bit more of an idea as to what Flipped Learning means and how students and teachers can apply this method. In the next of this blog series we’ll be taking a look at what Pupil Premium is in more detail. See you then!
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