The "Flipped Classroom" basically consists on assigning your students video-lessons to watch at home, and using classroom time for more meaningful activities. The students learn the basic concepts of the topic at home, and at their own pace, through videos. This gives the teacher more time in the classroom to work on other activities that will reinforce the students' understanding of the topic. Edpuzzle makes the flipped classroom work. How?
Math or Science
Math and science are usually taught in two parts: theory and practice. Many teachers complain that the curriculum is so broad that they spend most of their time covering the theory and never have enough time to incorporate problem solving or projects to consolidate the learning. Here are a few ways that videos can help:
- Assign videos about basic theory. We've created tons of videos covering basic theories in all subjects. You can find them in Curriculum. Assign one of these pre-prepared lessons to watch at home and use class time to solve misunderstandings or push the students to learn key concepts in more depth. Students can watch as many times as they need to, so there's no need to use class time on explaining the concept.
- Use videos to show how to solve problems. Assign a video explaining the basic process to solve a problem, giving your students the chance to practice before coming to class. You can then use class time on a more challenging version of the same problem.
- Engage your students with videos. Share documentaries, lab experiments, or other experiences recorded on video that will surprise the student. Collect the questions/reactions/opinions they may have while watching the video and use that data to drive your time in the classroom.
- Share class rules via video. Usually teachers spend a lot of time explaining and repeating class rules (behavior, lab security). Record a video and embed questions to check for understanding. You can use the same video every year, saving you time.
Teaching a language is a huge challenge: writing, reading, speaking, and listening. Mastering all of them in a limited amount of time is almost impossible. However, video-lessons and the flipped classroom will make your life much easier. Here's how:
- Check for listening comprehension. Forget about the cassettes, you can use any video available on YouTube and embed questions to check for understanding. Include open-ended questions to work on writing skills, or multiple choice for vocabulary checks.
- Start a debate. Share an interesting topic using a video from YouTube. You can embed an open-ended question asking for their point of view and use those responses to start a debate in class.
- Use videos to simulate travel. It is hard to put the students in a real environment where they can practice the language. For that reason, it can be interesting to use videos to show them different pronunciations or explore different cultures.
- Share new grammar and vocabulary. There are thousands of videos that cover grammar rules or vocabulary lists. Use Edpuzzle to let the students learn these concepts at home and use the time in the classroom for practice.
Social Studies standards are constantly changing and are so broad that it's hard to cover all the necessary curriculum with a limited amount of time. Besides, it is hard to be an expert in every area. Use Edpuzzle to:
- Bring in the experts. There are many experts doing TED talks on different Social Studies topics. It is a great idea to assign these videos to watch at home and ask the students for their point of views or to summarize the content. Use class time to develop key ideas or solve misunderstandings.
- Bring books to life. Use videos to enhance the content students read. Reinforce topics they've just learned or build on that topic using digital content. There are great resources already available, you can embed a few questions to check for understanding, and you can use class time to discuss and share.
- Turn your slides into videos. There are many online tools that enable you to quickly record slide presentations and upload them to Edpuzzle. Your lecture is now homework, and you can use the time saved in the classroom to work on misunderstandings, questions, or projects.
- Free tutor for your students. There are excellent video resources on Edpuzzle that are free to use. One click and you can utilize fantastic videos from Crash Course or Khan Academy to give your students an alternative way of learning the concepts covered in class or reinforce particular topics. With Edpuzzle, you can hold your students accountable and easily identify their misunderstandings.
Students in Special Education usually require special attention. However, it is hard to cover the curriculum and provide extra 1:1 time with the students. Here are some ways Edpuzzle can help:
- Create learning stations. We recommend putting together 2 or 3 stations and rotating your students between them. For your video station, equip your students with headphones, and have one or more videos ready. By using headphones and visual resources like videos, the students enhance their focus and retention of information. The following stations can have worksheets, hands-on projects, or involve one-on-one time with the teacher. That will give you extra time to provide individual attention to your students.
- Discuss behaviors. Many Special Education teachers spend a lot of time explaining how to behave socially in different situations. It may be hard for your students to visualize that specific situation or the context. Using video-lessons can provide a visual example of a particular social situation.
Almost every subject can take advantage of Edpuzzle and the power of videos. You can also use Edpuzzle for:
- Substitute teachers. If you are sick or traveling and you want your students to keep learning even if you are not there, you can assign a few video lessons to complete while the substitute teacher is there. You can hold them accountable, read their responses, and continue with no interruption when you get back.
- Creating an in-class flipped classroom. If some students do not have access to internet at home, or you want them to take advantage of the laptops/tablets available in the classroom, we strongly recommend this alternative. The in-class flipped classroom is a rotation station model where one of the stations has the Edpuzzle video-lessons. Every 15-20min (2-3 videos) the students will move to the next station. You can have different stations where the students learn the same concept using different approaches: peer-to-peer learning, writing/practice problems, teacher lecture, project based learning, or hands-on experiment.
- ASL. American Sign Language teachers love video-lessons because it's a visual resource to learn how to sign. Besides, the fact that you can embed questions ensures that the student understands the context of the conversation or the meaning of a specific sign. You can even assign the video to watch at home and see student progress and viewing history.
- Physical Education. Coaches and PE teachers love video-lessons and have been using them for many years to review techniques and strategy, and motivate their students. With Edpuzzle, you can finally hold these athletes and students accountable. You can use a video that explains the basic rules of a sport that you want to practice with your students, or you can assign a specific offensive play that you want to cover during the practice. There are endless options!
- Professional Development. Teachers are also students, however, when they have professional development they are usually tired or thinking about the million other things they have to work on. You can flip PD by assigning videos to watch at home and use the time of the PD to respond to questions or let the teachers work on how to implement new concepts in their classroom. You can supervise the work and brainstorm with them.
- Music. Videos are an excellent audio resource. Many music teachers use Edpuzzle to cover instruments or musicals. Depending on the level of your students you can assign videos to practice at home and use the class time to practice as a team.
In a flipped classroom it is important to understand two things that we will explain more in depth:
- Students love YouTube, but learning from a video is a skill they need to develop.
- Change requires patience.
Teach "how to learn" from a video-lesson
We strongly recommend explaining your objective in flipping the classroom to your students, their parents, other teachers, and your principal. If they understand the final goal, it will be easier to get them on board.
During the first classes, you can assign videos to watch in the classroom. You can do it as a group or let the students learn individually. Identify and celebrate good learning behaviors before the video: pausing the video, rewatching certain parts of the video if you didn't understand them, how to sit in front of the laptop, and how to take notes.
Then once the students have practiced a few times with the video and understand their expected behavior, we strongly recommend assigning one or two videos per week to watch at home. Measure the completion of the assignments and get feedback from the students on the length of the video, the difficulty of the questions, and the content of the lesson.
After one or two units you will not want to go back to the traditional way of teaching!
Change takes time
Many teachers think that they have to flip all their lessons. That is not true. We recommend flipping one or two units the first year and working in a few more in the second.
Having someone else in your department or school that wants to flip their class is also a great idea. Sharing content and best practices make the whole process much easier.
Students might be reluctant at the beginning - they have to pay attention to the video and respond to questions, it's no longer an easy passive experience for them. However, in the long run, students will start to see the change in their understanding and grades. Don't give up, you will see the results!