Where one-on-one computing and bring your own device (BYOD) programs focus on the physical implementation of technology and management of the devices and software, “Flipping the Classroom” is a unique new way to integrate the technology into the learning process and (as the title suggests) turn learning on its head.
In every typical classroom there is some form of “teaching a new lesson” (usually a lecture or presentation) followed by practical assignments, homework, activities, or lab work to help the student cement their understanding of the new topic at hand. In this model, technology participates in the “post lecture” space, providing engaging ways to complete assignments and projects implementing the “learning” of the day. In this case, the role of the teacher is traditional, and the technology is used to create a highly engaging experience, which not only makes learning more fun, but also increases the speed and depth of student retention of the material, thereby enhancing the educational experience.
But, what if we decided to “flip” the role of the teacher and the technology?
How does that work?
Imagine a class where students received lectures and presentations on new concepts and topics at home in the evening via computer or DVD. Then the next school day is spent in active participation of individual and group activities, cementing the concepts by interacting with the teacher and fellow students.
Students can work individually or in small groups. Different groups of students can be learning and reinforcing different parts of the same topic at the same time. The teacher can focus on helping each child with understanding the material instead of spending their time imparting the material.
As you might expect, there are a number of pros and cons associated with this type of classroom model.
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