Flipping: The New Educational Buzz Word

by Susan Joakim

Flipping the Classroom

No, you won’t be asked to do cartwheels, or turn desks upside down, but if you are asked to flip your classroom, you will need to flip your thinking.

According to Crystal Kirch, creator of What is the Flipped Classroom?, a flipped classroom is “A classroom that uses videos/podcasts as instructional tools to help time-shift the instruction of concepts so students receive the most support when they are working on the heaviest cognitive load.”  Okay, take a breath.  Time-shift is not referring to some quantum physics or Star Trek race around the sun.  It is a concept that shifts the timing of lessons.  In traditional teaching the teachers are most present during instruction on new concepts, but when the classroom is flipped, teachers are most present during the process of understanding new concepts.

Crystal uses videos and podcasts to flip her classroom, but some will argue that technology is not needed.  Brian Bennett, science teacher and keynote speaker at the 2012 Flipped Learning Conference in Chicago writes, “Flipping is so much more than using video to deliver content. It is a mindset that requires you to totally rethink the way teachers and students interact on a day to day basis.”

Flipping will look very different depending upon the grade level and subject; however, the ultimate goal is to increase all students’ understanding of the material and motivation for learning.  Students in Flipped classrooms are invested in their own learning.  Indeed, Flipping has even been credited with reducing behavior issues in the classroom The Effect of Affect.

If you are interested in trying a flipped lesson, you need not worry about creating one yourself.  Visit Sophia for hundreds of flipped lessons available for you to use free!


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