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Turning Education Upside Down -- the Flipped School

Technology Colleagues,

My friend and colleague, Paul Jurmo, called my attention to this fascinating New York Times article on “flipped schools,” where students watch video lessons at home and do “homework” in class, that are showing early promise in improving learning. http://nyti.ms/1cvI9sJ

Anyone experimenting with the flipped classroom in adult education yet?

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

Comments

LisaMazur's picture
First

I have also read of the flipped classroom model.  It sounds intriguing, especially if the teacher can find high quality videos that are very similar to the way the teacher teaches.  I have not tried it yet because I need to find videos I like, as well as create pages to go with them. 

My concern is that some of my students don't have computers or internet access at home to watch the videos.  If I move to this model, I would be stuck as to how to get the content to those particular students.  Unless I gave out the video assignment over a weekend, when they could hopefully go to the library if they don't have access at home.  If I tried to give videos over a weekend for the whole next week, those students might just give up and not watch at all if they feel it was too much.

Perhaps in my case, a blended model might work, with some conventional lessons and some flipped lessons.  It would be interesting to see if the results in my class were as promising as the research.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Lisa and others,

First, what kind of (free) instructional web-based videos are you looking for? I may be able to point you to some.

Regarding student access to online videos, check with your students to see if any have smart phones, as most videos can be accessed and viewed this way. I know the screens are impossibly small for some, especially people over 40, but many younger students are watching videos now on smart phones. Incidentally the fastest growing populations of smart phone users now are African Americans and linguistic minorities.(Pew Internet and American Life research project)

Another tip, since libraries often limit patron access to 15 or 30 minutes, prepare a standard letter that requests permission for one-hour sessions on a library computer for your students, then fill in the student's name, and sign it. Also include a way to reach you if the librarian has any questions. Most librarians will make this exception for adult learners.

A third tip. If your student has children and they are eligible for free or reduced school lunches, there are programs that provide inexpensive desktops and laptops, and Broadband internet access for about $10 a month to eligible families. For more information go to http://www.connect2compete.org/index.php

Let us know if you experiment with the flipped classroom model and, if so, what the results are. Do students watch the videos? Do they like them? Are they learning from them? Do they think this is a better way to learn?  There isn't much evidence for adult learner flipped classroom models because as far as I know there is no actual research on the model with _this_ population. I am hoping that some people in this CoP try it out and let us know how it's going as a first step.

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

 

MBautista's picture
Ten

One way to do videos is to flip yourself.  This works extremely well if your school also has a broadcast journalism or related class.

Another semi-solution is the standard group rotation between the video, hands on, etc.

-Marshall

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Marshall,

What does it mean to "flip yourself"? Teach while standing on your head....  ; - )  or do you mean make videos of your own teaching? If so, that's a great idea. If there are adult ed teachers doing that, I would love to know, would be willing to pull together an online discussion group to discuss what makes good classroom videos. My colleague and I have been making videos of adult education classes for several years and think we have learned a lot, which I would be happy to share -- as well as happy to learn from others. Our (free) professional development videos are on YouTube and also on our web site http://mlots.org .  We have a link at the bottom of the front page on the MLoTS web site to others'  adult education videos where you can see many more short adult education professional development videos.

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

Michelle Kelley's picture
First

I recently viewed a couple of good youtube videos on flipping the classroom without the internet.  A teacher by the name of Shannon Holden has a two part series on how  download videos and either put them on a flash drive or on a DVD so that a student can take the instructional or "flipped" videos (instruction/Lectures) home for viewing on their tv sets. 

Part 1 Flipping without internet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tsop327GiAI

Part 2 Flipping without the internet - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7U_Jl4mT9U

This might be a good work around for students who have a tv/dvd system or a flat screen tv where a person can load from a flash drive.

~Michelle Kelley

S Jones's picture
One hundred

... of course, I need to start with my obligatory rant about the fact that an *awful* lot of what passes for instructional videos are abysmal in quality. The NY Times article was one more utterly shallow "rah, rah!! It's technology! it must be good!!!"   piece.    (For full rant, read through the archives...)

    It *is* getting easier to produce videos -- and I think I just might talk to our broadcast folks as well as our distance ed folks.  

    I'm really interested in exploring combining videos and online exercises as LearnZillion is trying to do (I have to figure out how to find practice exercises; when they first published, students were directed to "practice" exercises made by different teams, on different topics than the movie they'd seen.   Now I don't know how to get to the practice exercises but I hope they're working on it.) 

   I'm focusing on math (tho' I can wear a reading specialist hat when called on), and  I know many of my students **desperately** need materials that build in a lot of review of both concepts and procedures.  Most materials are a bit too encapsulated.   Our college turned over its most basic math course to our tutorial center, when ALEKS was a flop (too procedural, among other things); however, now they're planning on basing the next level up on ALEKS, as well.   I'm anticipating fallout and it's been suggested that I design a unit or two aimed at students with learnign disabilities that would build in the concrete connections that I grew to reluctantly, then deeply appreciate in my ORton-Gillingham training for reading.  

    I think videos and "flipping" could go a long way with this group... but I chafe and growl when people get all kinds of excited that with videos you can always rewind and thus they're perfect!   The idea that some students need a *different* presentation, not the s  a  m  e     o  n  e    b  u  t   s     l    o    w    e    r   seems just too complicated for them. 

MBautista's picture
Ten

I was introduced to another video site http://education-portal.com/.  They're primary purpose isn't directed this way, but individual lessons can be used outside of thier context.

-Marshall

Karisa Tashjian's picture
First

I'm very invigorated by the idea of the flipped classroom.  I just attended a day long workshop with Jon Bergmann, one of the pioneers of the Flipped Learning Movement.  (http://flippedlearning.org).  The message that he delivered that resonated with me was that flipped learning is not just about the videos.  The real focus is on how to maximize the use of classroom face to face time and that by shifting more content delivery to outside the classroom, more time is created to individually help students in the classroom with tasks at the highest levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.  For those reasons, I feel like flipped learning has great potential in adult education.

Heather Erwin's picture
One hundred

Hello All,

I've been intrigued by the "flipped" classroom since Khan Academy first surfaced. I know some correctional educators use a modified version, watching videos during one class period and then having students work on assignments for the next. A sort of "alternating flip." 

This article from today's Chronicle of Higher Ed online daily gives some additional food for thought:

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/quickwire-flipping-classrooms-may-not-make-much-difference/47667?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

 

S Jones's picture
One hundred

I think any time people focus on the tools and not the content and delivery, things aren't going to make a statistical difference.

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Susan and others,

You may be right that the flipped classroom is just another fad, but possibly not. There is now a fair amount of at least professional wisdom evidence, and some test score evidence, from K-12 teachers that it is successful. There is testimony from schools in California, and now Michigan, for example that kids who have been having trouble in traditional math classrooms are succeeding in flipped classrooms. I think its worth trying in adult education, for math, writing, science and perhaps other areas. Like Karisa, I think that its power is that the time a teacher might be spending in class lecturing or demonstrating might instead be spent working one-on-one or in small groups with students who need more help. Then we need to see what adult education teachers are finding. If the flipped classroom looks promising in adult education, we should then evaluate the model(s) to see what the outcomes are. Then on to research.

Regarding your belief that content and delivery is important, I completely agree. Although mediocre instruction videos -- and most of them that I have seen are mediocre -- may be useful, if we had more well-made videos of excellent teachers, this would be much better.

Susan, and others who have thought about this, what do you think, specifically, makes an excellent instructional video, and what makes instruction excellent, whether it's face-to-face or on video? If you were evaluating videos, as many of my adult secondary education writing teaching colleagues were doing this past summer, what would you look for? What would you hope to find? Some of this, of course, depends on what is being taught and to whom: English language for immigrants, numeracy for adults who have very low skills, science preparation for an HSE, etc., but there may also be some underying skills that cut across all disciplines or kinds of content. If so, what are these?

I hope several people here will weigh in on this question:

What do you see as the most important elements of excellent instruction and, in particular, an excellent instructional video, in your content area(s)? If you were evaluating instructional videos, what would you look for? If you were making them, what would yoiu ideally want your videos to be like and to do?

 

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

 

Rachel Baron's picture
One hundred

David, thanks for asking the question. I've been hesitant to use videos, and I think you helped me understand why. Maybe now I'll have a better idea of how to make them useful.

I think there are a few ways to make a good educational video. One is to just pose the question. (I know there was a TED talk by a teacher who does this.) Use the video to get the students to think about the problem. Allow the visual and auditory learners to actually get a sense of what this is like in the real world. Then, once you've got their interest, have the students actually do some thinking about how to solve the problem. This might work well in a flipped environment because the slow and fast thinkers are on more equal footing. You could come in and ask the students what strategies they were already thinking about. If you want, you can make a follow-up video with some possible solutions, but it's probably unnecessary in most cases.

Another way to make a good educational video is to explain why something works. For example, why does the division algorithm work? What does it look like if I show an example of actually dividing a pile of candy and coming up with a remainder? This would be good for introducing a specific procedure. (Although if all you're doing is dividing candy, it might be better to just have the students do it themselves in class--real life is more memorable than screen life.)

The last way of making a good educational video is the most common (and possibly easiest to make). Explain clearly how to work the procedure, and show an example. I would call this a review video. This video is for when it's been three years since you used the quadratic equation and you just need to make sure all the pieces are in the right places. You already know when to use it and how. (In fact, maybe what you need is actually just a page with the quadratic equation written out, but seeing it used once never hurt anyone, and maybe might help you remember to watch out for those negative numbers). I might include a video like this as a resource if a student needed to use the procedure in order to solve a larger problem. (For example, a review of multiplying and dividing fractions before an algebra lesson.)

My main reservation with the flipped classroom idea is that I am afraid review videos are being used to teach. That doesn't help students understand. It helps them do meaningless practice on a set of procedures that they will just confuse with other similar-looking sets of procedures later on (do I cross-multiply or cross-cancel?). I don't have a problem with folks who can make a nice, clear explanation of how to work an algorithm. I have a problem when that's all the student ever gets by way of instruction.

Rachel

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Rachel,

Thank you so much for these thoughtful comments. I, too am concerned that most of the adult education-focused instructional videos are review videos (or formulaic -- and not just in math, also in writing). I like your ideas for making good educational videos.

Everyone, I hope to hear others thoughts on  what makes for good teaching, and good teaching videos.

 

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

 

dianewi's picture
First

For the past two years the Fairfield Suisun Adult School in Fairfield CA has been converting our High School program over to  a blend of direct instruction and online courses.  The first year was  very difficult we, put 8 classes(16 if you count the duplication of the same classes for night) on line and stopped using paper.  The students were somewhat shocked and not happy about it.  I think largely because they were used to the old way.  The second year (this year) the teachers and students are having a much better  experience with online classes.  The students like the fact that they can work from home or here at school.  At school they have the teachers to help with the questions that they don't understand.

We do direct instruction for 20 minutes of each class, each class is 1.5 hours long, and then the students go to the computers and start working on their online class.  Each class emphasizes writing.  They have to complete 4 journal about what ever chapter they are on, and take all the online quizes and tests.  Quizes can be done at home but tests need to be taken at school.  the tests and quizes are automatically graded and go into a grade book, we have to grade the writing ourselves this is time consuming. We can tell whethere they did the work at home or school by the IP address.

We purchased online licenses for the books, as we couldn't afford to keep replacing books that would disappear, now everyone has a book when they log onto our system.  We use video's from Khan academy, Hippo Campus, Vimeo, and the teachers are starting to record their own class instruction.  At the moment we are  working on an ABE class for English and Math.  It is slow going, but when we are finished we will have a 10 unit course in English and Math for ABE students.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Diane,

Thanks for telling us about these innovations at the Fairfield-Suison Adult School. Given the hard time that many California adult schools have had with state and local funding the past few years it is great to learn that your school is surviving -- and apparently thriving!

What do you, other teachers and students think of the online videos that you are using? Are there any that you think are very good or excellent? If so, which ones and why? Tell us more about the videos the teachers are making. What are the advantages of doing that? What are the challenges? Are there any we could see?

Are there plans for teachers and students to evaluate the changes in the new system this year? If so, it would be very interesting to hear what they think is working well and what needs to be improved.

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

Nazneen Rahman's picture
First

Hello,

I have learned a lot by reading your conversation on Flipped Classrooms. I am glad that K-12 and higher education are doing well with this model. It’s an interesting concept and I wouldn’t mind trying it out in adult education. However, we serve adult immigrants, refugees, and low income individuals most of whom read between 0-3rd grade level. These factors bring to mind several challenges that we in adult education need to revisit first.

As you know, adult students have busy lives with many responsibilities at work and multiple commitments to their families.  I wonder what would be their motivation and ability to work independently with technology and move into flipped classrooms. Here are some of the challenges we face:

  • Most of our students do not have computers and would have to go to the library to do the work which they are reluctant to do because they are so busy.
  • Students perceive coming to school as a special time set aside to study with teachers and peers. The environment at home does not necessarily support the same learning model particularly due to large families living together. 
  • The face-to-face contact with a teacher is highly sought after by all students, especially adult students with limited formal education. This model supports different learning styles and allows the teacher to adjust a lesson instantaneously based on his/her observation of the students’ understanding, and performance of the lesson. It also allows students to get immediate responses to their questions and engage in meaningful interaction resulting in better comprehension and accelerated learning. 
  • Our students face enormous barriers in English Language and literacy as foreign born adults and in order to use technology, they are required to read, understand and interact with computers. Adult education is their only opportunity to enhance their foundational skills since many of them have not had the opportunity to go to K-12 or higher education in their countries, let alone have the time or the availability of a computer.  Therefore, the pace of moving into a video based classroom that requires self-study is quite challenging.

Considering these challenges, I see the application of flipped classrooms in adult education incorporated in a model that includes the use of videos as well as teacher assisted face-to-face learning. My first suggestion is: To develop and utilize videos that are well-paced with level appropriate materials, which provide clear instruction and offer engaging techniques to accommodate different learning styles. My second suggestion is: To work with students in the classroom while they watch the videos and provide follow up lessons. This process will teach students how to work independently with videos, what to look for, and how to do follow-up lessons. Basically, we will be teaching them in class how to study independently with technology through a partially flipped classroom before moving them on to a fully flipped environment.  

On another note, I strongly support the use of videos as well as other technologies used in the flipped model for teacher professional development.  Personally, as a learner, I have discovered that I learn complex teaching concepts, approaches, and techniques more easily by seeing how it is done rather than from someone telling me verbally what to do.

 I credit David Rosen for providing the MLoTS Videos which a colleague has shared with me. I also want to add that we are using an online website to augment our in-house PD activities for teachers. This website serves as a discussion board and an archive of best practices for teaching.      

nrahman@iiri.org

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Nasneen listed some palpable challenges in using the flipped classroom with adults. I will reply to each below.

Here are some of the challenges we face:

  • Most of our students do not have computers and would have to go to the library to do the work which they are reluctant to do because they are so busy.

This is not an unusual challenge in adult English Language Learning education; however, the digital divide is narrowing. The fastest growing groups in the U.S. getting access to the Internet through smart phones (smart phones have excellent capacity for watching video) are immigrants and African Americans. Ask your students if they have smart phones in addition to asking about home computers. For low-income families -- and increasingly adults, not just families -- there are subsidies for purchase of desktop and laptop computers (the cost is frequently below $200) and Internet access ($10-15/month for broadband access). For more information go to http://www.connect2compete.org or http://www.everyoneon.org For students who use libraries, a common problem is that patrons are limited to 15 or 30 minutes because of the demand. Usually librarians will waive this limit or expand it to an hour for adult learners who need to learn online. A teacher could create a form letter requesting permission for the student to use a computer longer for education purposes, and pen in the student's name as well as a way the librarian can reach the teacher if there are questions.

  • Students perceive coming to school as a special time set aside to study with teachers and peers. The environment at home does not necessarily support the same learning model particularly due to large families living together. 

This is a common and serious problem. A smart phone may help, as will studying in a library. Some programs also have hours where students can sign up for or drop into the program's computer lab. What many adults in big families do is stay up late or get up early to have the quiet they need to study/watch videos. Some -- for example security guards -- often study at work. Some study on the bus or subway.

  • The face-to-face contact with a teacher is highly sought after by all students, especially adult students with limited formal education. This model supports different learning styles and allows the teacher to adjust a lesson instantaneously based on his/her observation of the students’ understanding, and performance of the lesson. It also allows students to get immediate responses to their questions and engage in meaningful interaction resulting in better comprehension and accelerated learning. 

Yes, the strength of "flipping" is that students get more one-to-one and small group time with their teacher instead of teacher presentation to the large group. However, in a language learning class, sometimes large-group interaction is very important. I wonder, however, if grammar presentations could be flipped, with individual supervised practice and formative assessment happening in class. There are a lot of grammar videos that make perfectly clear presentations (although they are usually not inspiring).

  • Our students face enormous barriers in English Language and literacy as foreign born adults and in order to use technology, they are required to read, understand and interact with computers. Adult education is their only opportunity to enhance their foundational skills since many of them have not had the opportunity to go to K-12 or higher education in their countries, let alone have the time or the availability of a computer.  Therefore, the pace of moving into a video based classroom that requires self-study is quite challenging.

It is challenging to learn English, but not necessarily more challenging to learn English through a blended model of face-to-face with a good English language teacher, and carefully selected free online English language learning videos. This model is not really new, nor necessarily part of a flipped classroom model. For example, many English language teachers of adults have been using USA Learns http://usalearns.org for several years now, and USA Learns has incorporated videos as well as text-based online learning. Learning to use one web site with a well-designed interface should not be an especially big challenge. For example, I have seen ESL students in California introduced to -- and immediately use -- English language learning web sites when the introduction is on a Smartboard (a digital whiteboard) in the classroom. There are other ways, of course, to introduce how to use a web site, as Smartboards are still rare in adult ESL/ESOL classrooms.

Incidentally, there was recently an interesting piece on On Point, a public radio show from Boston, that has a compelling short video of the principal of a flipped school talking about the results of flipping the school. To see it, and/or to hear the broadcast and comments, go to http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/11/05/flipped-schools-clintondale

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

joergehamilton's picture
First

Finally students are overcome from traditional education system. Flipped education is a new education policy or tendency introduces to help students to overcome from the old pattern of education system. Therefore we can estimate a huge change in the American education policy, under flipped education system we have found different new systems such as follows;

1. Get relief from homework’s: Students are doing their homework’s in schools with the guidance of teachers.

2. Online education policy: Through online education policy they get their lecture at home through online.

I hope with the help of flipped education system students are getting a new way of education system, it allows them to enjoy their studies and also give time to engage in different activities.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Colleagues,

From time to time I post here about the flipped classroom/school model. I also often mention this at presentations I do at conferences, where I ask for a show of hands to see who is experimenting with or using the flipped classroom model.  Today, at a session I did at the NCTN national conference in Rhode Island on using free online writing instruction videos, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that nearly 20% of the forty participants -- the majority of whom were adult education teachers -- raised their hands. This model may be catching on.

If you are using/experimenting with the flipped classroom model, tell us about what you teach, what level, and about your students; tell us what you are doing with the flipped model and how it's going.

Eagerly awaiting some replies here.  : - )

 

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

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