I can imagine how some people who don’t have an open mind, may be cynical about the innovative concept of flipped learning. However, those of you reading this will clearly have an open and inquisitive approach to their profession.
The flipped learning approach is not new and by that I don’t mean over the last ten years. There has been a lot said about the development of flipped learning since it’s general use in the early mid-2000s. It was popularised by chemistry teachers Jon Bergman and Aaron Sams, (Bergmann and Sams 2012) and the founder of the Khan Academy, Salman Khan (TED 2011). However; if you think about it, we have been doing this for a lot longer, or we should have been. Remember waking with blurred eyes and dashing to the seminars at university panicking whether you had completed your homework. I remember that awful feeling to this day when the mentor would say, ” Can you get your notes out from your readings please”. Most of the time I had done my reading, but on the days I’d forgotten to prepare, that did not feel good.
The idea of doing reading before an event or session is the fundamental principle behind lots of tasks, take the job interview. When interviewing for staff it’s very clear who has prepared and those who have not. Flipping your classroom is based on the same principle. By using a medium that’s relevant and accessible to today’s generation, we are simply applying old logic to the modern day.
The Z generation are the future and according to research, most of the Z generation since a young age are comfortable with social media and technology. (Z generation, typically born after 1995). Saying that, I was interviewing students for an A level course the other day who were born in 2003! The only thing I remember about that year is England winning the world cup! (come on England 2019).
The point for me is clear, it’s about communication. When you have a baby you make funny noises and engage with the baby to support their needs. The same should be said for primary as well as secondary school students. We as teachers or people interested in pedagogy must recognise that the way we communicate will have an impact on the learners. With this in mind I pause to think about how young teenagers communicate It’s partially and to be honest, all too often through their phones. So what better way to engage with students than to use the method they are so very comfortable with. For me this in no way removes the value of the teacher or the relationships that are built face to face. What is does do is say to me that flipped learning, or flipped classrooms are not a phase, not a gimmick, but it is an effective online learning tool, when it’s done well.