The Flipped Classroom Enables Personalized Learning

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I passionately believe in the potential of the flipped classroom, and want to share a few insights from some education technology thought leaders about how it can facilitate personalized learning. I hope this piques your interest, and leaves you thinking about taking a little time over the summer to create some flipped content so you can give ‘the flip’ a try in the fall!

Aaron Sams and John Bergmann’s book Flip Your Class: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day is a great introduction to the how’s and why’s of the flip. A number of their “15 Reasons To Flip Your Classroom” speak to personalized learning:

  • Flipping helps struggling students: Many students are thrilled to be able to pause, rewind, and replay lecture videos or podcasts and absorb new content at a pace that works for them. Moreover, the time that is freed up in class can now be devoted more directly to each student as he or she needs it.

  • Flipping increases student-teacher interaction Many teachers who implement the flip will emphasize that the ultimate benefit is the time they get to spend with students in class, the nature of which changes greatly under this model. Now teachers can spend one-on-one time with students, create groups that are struggling with the same content and give them a mini-lecture or demonstration, or guide or assist students in other ways.

  • Flipping allows for real differentiation: Students learn at different rates. While watching class lectures, students who get a topic can speed the video up, and those who are struggling can replay the challenging sections. In class, students who are having a hard time grasping a specific topic will have an opportunity to work closely with the teacher. Students who master the materials can move ahead.

I’m currently reading Sal Khan’s inspiring One World School House: Education Reimagined. He shares many thoughts about the importance of moving towards a more personalized education system:

  • “The old classroom model simply doesn’t fit our changing needs. It’s a fundamentally passive way of learning while the world requires more and more active processing of information. The old model is based on pushing students together in age-group batches with one-pace-fits-all curricula and hoping they pick up something along the way."

  • He explains that if students have consumed learning content before class, "teachers can then carve out face time with individual students who are struggling; they can move away from rote lecturing and into the higher tasks of mentoring, inspiring, and providing perspective."

The flip turns the old model on its head, placing active, personalized classroom learning at the center of the teaching model!

To learn more about the flipped classroom, check out the resource links below.

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