Flipping Your Classroom – Starting Small
Have you ever noticed that when you sit down one-on-one with someone to teach them a skill, they tend to ask lots of questions? It’s a natural part of the learning process to ask questions in order to truly understand the topic at hand.
What happens in a classroom full of students? You get one or two questions, or sometimes, not even that. The students’ natural inclination to ask questions is stifled by the fear of looking “stupid” in front of their peers.
Unfortunately, we can’t sit down one-on-one with each of our students every day. The next best thing is the idea of flipping your classroom.
The “Flipped Classroom”
In this model, you create video lessons so that students watch you teach before reaching class. Class time is then spent practicing the skills. This way, students are actively involved in practice rather than passively absorbing your lesson. During their practice, you can wander the room and answer individual questions as they arise. The lessons do not have to be videos: They could be a reading assignment or some other task.
You can read about flipping in this article by Education Next.
A full-blown flipped classroom would have hours of video lessons and follow-up practice prepared, which is a daunting task. You can start small, by creating short video lessons.
Even if you don’t create a year’s worth of lessons, it might be helpful to have videos available for topics that students need extra help in often. For example, your physics class might have a quick video describing the addition of fractions that you point students to when talking about adding resistors in parallel.
Creating Video Lessons
You can make a ten minute video lesson that shows students how to perform a task, whether it be adding fractions or diagramming a sentence. Students can watch at their own pace, and pause and rewind as necessary. If you’ve ever tried to learn something by watching a YouTube video, you’ve got the idea.
Creating video lessons isn’t difficult. As you make more, it gets even easier. The trick is getting started and making your first one.
In this workshop, I’ll discuss some of the tools I’ve used to create short video lessons to help my students understand important concepts. Most of these tools are already on your computer. I’ll show you how to create a presentation, convert it to a video, edit it, and post it online.
We will discuss the benefits of this format and how it can help students with various learning styles. We will also talk about ways to make these mini-lectures interactive, so that students are actively involved with the material being presented.
If you would like to sit down with me and learn this process, please sign up for a class. I am also available for professional development at your school.
To view a set of video lessons on how to create video lessons using PowerPoint, read on…