Flipping and blending

Flipping and blending

Flipping and blending

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Seven years ago I started flipping my class. I wish I knew what I learnt through the process when I started, as it would have been so much easier. But really, good teaching stems from good learning.
Adrian shares his top 10 tips for flipping or blending your classroom Click To Tweet

The term ‘flipped learning’ has been floating around schools for some time. The concept is simple, record content and make it available online where students can access it at home. Class time can then take the form of a tutorial, where discussions and individual assistance are offered. I prefer the term blended learning, a model that utilises the best aspects of flipped learning and contemporary pedagogy that leads to personalised learning.
Join with me as I jump in my Delorean and go Back to the Future and share my top 10 tips gained from my journey.


1)Don’t just flip a class because it is the current trend (like soy, double decaf coffee on ice). Think about how you can use video, or other means, to create valuable learning opportunities for your students based on relationship. All the flash videos in the world will never replace that face-to-face interaction and relationship you can build with a student. So be clear on WHY you want to flip.

2)Start small. Pick a unit of work that you are familiar with where you, as the teacher, tend to do a lot of explaining and delivery of content. This way you are not starting from scratch, but building on your experience and expertise to make the learning even better. Even use a current slide deck as your base and screencast that.

3)Plan. Carefully look at the content and reflect on past experience to plan an outline of the content that you could deliver via video. Write down the key things that will need to be covered in each segment. Try to keep each segment around 5 to 10 minutes long. Sometimes they will go longer and it is possible for students to play the video faster to get through it, but the goal is for them to engage in what you are explaining.

4)Teach the students how to watch a video for learning, not entertainment. Students have become used to YouTube and tend to switch off and not absorb the content. The number of hits on cat videos is a testament to that. So, take the time in class to model how to take notes from a video, how to rewind, how to pause and how to retain key content by active listening.

Teach the students how to watch a video for learning, not entertainment Click To Tweet

5)Rehearse your presentation. Have notes, and practise going through your presentation in the time limit. Remember to speak slowly and clearly.

6)Record your video. Keep it simple. Here are some suggestions:
a.)Use a webcam filming you writing notes on a white board and explaining them.
b.)Use a PowerPoint and OfficeMix to record an existing slide deck.
c.)Use a screencasting program like Quicktime or Screencastify (free), Explain Everything, Screenflow or Camtasia to record your screen as you provide the verbal input.
d.)Use EDpuzzle to add interactive elements to your videos. It allows you to ask questions and add your own voice overs to existing YouTube videos to assist students to learn the relevant material.

7)Edit your video. There are a number of packages that you can use to tidy up aspects of the video. I use a mixture of Camtasia and Final Cut Pro, depending on what I am doing. Once again, start simple and Office Mix allows this.

8)Upload it somewhere that is accessible easily by your students. Your intranet at school may be good, but is it easily accessible off site or on a mobile device? I used YouTube and made all my videos public. You can also use Clickview as students can download a video onto their device should they have issues with accessing the internet from home.

9)Modify the way you teach. If you have content online for students to view and note, then don’t repeat it in class. That defeats the purpose and develops learned helplessness in the students. Use the class time for answering specific questions and pose deeper level thinking problems for the students to work on collaboratively in a tutorial situation.

10)Be prepared to adjust, bend, modify, alter and polish what you do to create the best blend of online and face to face teaching that you can.

I know there will be hurdles and great outcomes, enjoy the journey as you continue to build positive learning opportunities for others.


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