Sunday, April 26, 2020

"Flipped" Classroom in the Era of Remote Learning

Right now we have an incredible opportunity.  As we work with students in new ways using online remote learning tools, we can reconsider what learning means and rethink about the role teachers play in education.  As educational leaders, we can guide our teachers toward a model that problems higher order thinking and student ownership over learning.  By doing so, we can help bring our schools fully into the 21st Century.

When I was an administrator of a large, urban high school, I worked closely with our math department to "flip" the learning.  This process enabled us to transition teachers from "conveyors of information" to coaches helping guide students through their own learning.  It enabled students to really spend time mastering skills and discussing how they could think about and in different ways about their learning.  I propose now taking this one step further, enabling students to spend the time post watching a brief teacher video lesson to really working with their fellow students and teacher during Zoom engaged in problem-based learning.

In humanities classes, this would enable teachers to pose a question or introduce a topic, give students some background on a topic, and let them explore it.  Then, students can come to a Zoom ready to engage in problem-based learning.  Students can break into groups on the zoom and work together to develop their questions, and to solve real-world problems. Of course, the end product could be something that would be added to an e-portfolio, like on SeeSaw.

Having students spend classroom time "owning" their learning rather than simply acquiring basic skills enables teachers to operate in the coach capacity helping students become thinkers and problem-solvers rather than just recipients of learning.

Now is the time to try using Flipped Classrooms with inquiry-based learning models.