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How Technology in Education is Flipping Things Around


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How Technology in Education is Flipping Things Around


When I was first introduced to the concept of a class where “class work happens at home and homework in the class,” I flipped a little. How did we come to a point where the fundamental workings of a classroom is changing?

High-school teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams invented the flipped classroom concept and credit the research report “Inverting the Classroom: A Gateway to Creating and Inclusive classroom,” for their successful attempt at implementing this unique concept. They defined a flipped classroom as a “mindset that directs attention away from the teachers and puts it squarely on the students and their learning.”

In a flipped, or inverted classroom, the in-class time is “re-purposed” to focus more on inquiry, application and assessment of students. The traditional lecture-style of teaching is greatly reduced, and a methodology is adopted to personalize learning. The students learn at home aided by technology tools like lectures streaming on their computers, eBooks, and other digital and traditional course materials.

What it’s all about

Students take control of the learning process and do so at their own pace. A typical flipped classroom requires students to watch a video on a topic in a virtual space like Google Classroom at home or other vodcast apps. While doing the lesson, they take quizzes to ensure understanding, have access to additional digital materials, and take notes and write down questions that they might have about the lesson to ask the teacher in the classroom the next day. Students continue to be at the center of learning in the classroom when they participate in group activities and collaborate with others in the group to come up with a solution.

The teacher takes on the role of a coach and guide, who helps each student develop a unique learning strategy rather than imparting the same knowledge to all the students. What results is a rich learning environment that helps students foster real-world thinking skills and problem-solving techniques. Some of the activities that teachers can have a group do together include: digital storytelling, making ebooks, podcasts or instructional videos, and posters and quizzes using tools like Google Forms.

Works for all levels

Though more popular in high school and college, a flipped classroom has been adopted by elementary schools too and seen great success. As per research data available from 2014, 96% of teachers who have flipped their classrooms will recommend it to others.

For elementary school teachers alone, there are hundreds of apps suitable to be used in a flipped classroom environment like, Edheads, Skillshare, WeVideo, and GoClass to name a few. Most videos and apps work well on a tablet, phone or computer at home. In the cases where students don’t have access to digital devices, they have the option to use the school or public library to access a computer and internet.

The Flipped Learning Network, an organization advocating for flipped classrooms, provides resources and support for teachers looking to implement a flipped classroom. Tutorials on how to make quality videos and infographics, screen-casting for elementary school teachers, along with plenty of resources on the know-how of flipping a classroom is available for educators through their network.

Technology as the enabler

A flipped classroom is just one of the many technology-driven trends being adopted by schools and colleges across the globe.

A paradigm shift in teaching techniques and the rise of real-world learning, to meet the needs of an evolving future, has undoubtedly been enabled by technology. Technology that has become the answer to many challenges that educators and students face. Technology that is an integral part of a student’s academic success. Technology that our next generation will use to pursue their dreams.

When technology is made available to teachers, they are enabled to ignite the minds of their students innovatively and make learning personalized. When technology is made available to students, they are enabled to learn more engagingly and consider learning to be relevant.

What new trends are you witnessing at your child’s school? What do you expect technology to change or improve in 2019 in your child’s life?

Shikha Das Shankar is a freelance storyteller. Multitasking dragon slayer mom. Happy hiker. When not writing, she loves hiking with her favorite trio—the son, the daughter and the husband or cooking her favorite foods in her de-stressing zone, the kitchen.

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