Can The Flipped Classroom Enhance Differentiated Learning?

Flipping the Differentiated Classroom
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Imagine a classroom where a student’s day, from beginning-to-end, is engaged in active learning. That hands-on experiences are the mainstay of their in-class learning experiences. Where students are not only learning subjects but how to independently formulate and find answers to their questions. Class-time where they collaborate, take risks and are active participants in their own learning.  Now imagine a homework time where instead of stress, anxiety, and frustration, you see a student engaged in watching introductory/explanatory video’s produced by their teachers. Video’s that can be replayed, again and again, if necessary. This is a high-level picture of what a Flipped Classroom environment would look like.

The Flipped Classroom is a pedagogy that works well, by design, with differentiated instruction. Teachers become facilitators and subject matter experts, encouraging students in individual inquiry and collaborative efforts alike. When you expand the time available (repurpose) for teaching by removing the lecture, it allows the teacher to offer multiple activities going on in the classroom with enough time to actually do something meaningful. One group of students can be working together on a project, while others are working on computers and yet another group is working directly with the teacher; delving into the materials and asking questions. Each student can learn at their own pace with a more individualized approach tailored to their learning styles.

Technology plays a key role in this model. Teachers record their video’s and make them available for the students to watch. Generally, each video is 4 to 7 minutes in length. Sometimes there may be more than one video for an evening’s “homework” per class. But by breaking the recordings up you give the student an opportunity to absorb the information in smaller pieces. Teachers will then add one to three questions at the end of the video to assess that the student has comprehension of the materials and confirm they have participated in watching the video as requested.

The Flipped Classroom shifts the focus from a teacher-centric place of learning to a student-centric, highly engaged environment.  Many classrooms throughout the country have successfully made the transition with some positive results.

What do you think? Is this the way of the future for classroom teaching models?

Looking for more information on what a Flipped Classroom is? Take a look at this video Flipped Classroom Explained

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