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The Campanile

Flipped Classroom

As a student, I can say that the hardest part of school for me is homework. It is time consuming, boring and sometimes I do not even understand it. Sometimes it is easier to “forget” about homework than legitimately doing it, and other times, although it is wrong, students simply copy others’ homework.

I understand that homework is an important tool in the learning process, but there could be a more effective way to implement it to ensure successful learning. This way is through a flipped classroom model.

A flipped classroom essentially means that students learn their lectures by watching videos online for homework (or in class if a student does not have internet access). These online lectures would either be made by teachers or taken from a website, such as Khan Academy.

These lecture videos are usually five to 15 minutes long and cover main concepts that students need to be learning. Students can write down any questions they may have to be answered during class and they can also watch the lecture multiple times for maximum comprehension.

During class time, students do practice problems, use educational technology or learn through different activities; essentially students do their homework in class where they have their teachers and peers to help them if they need it.

It is easy to get discouraged when doing homework by oneself at home, but in the classroom homework can be much more effective and efficient practice.

The flipped classroom model allows class time to be utilized in a way that is interactive for students, rather than using the time for lectures that can be easily viewed at home. Teachers can exemplify concepts that students have already learned on their own through hands-on activities, labs, more extensive presentations and other interactive methods of teaching that are supplemental to the online lectures.

Some teachers may say that certain concepts are too complex to teach in a video. However, if students learn the fundamentals of these concepts through the online videos, it will be easier for teachers to clarify the concepts in class as students will have obtained a basic knowledge on their own.

As a student, I believe that it would be very helpful if teachers at Paly began to implement the flipped classroom technique. I have watched Khan Academy videos in order to help me better understand concepts taught in class and I find them very helpful.

Moreover, in a growing technological world, it makes sense that we should integrate more educational technology into the curriculum. Using computers during class can enhance learning by letting students view subject matter in a different light, such as using interactive online games to understand math and science concepts.

A flipped classroom model at Paly would greatly help student learning, especially in hard science classes. In geometry it could allow for 3-D examples of theorems so that students can visualize what they are learning. For science classes, this model would allow for more lab time. In history classes it could be used to reenact historical moments or debates.

Although it will be difficult to fully integrate the flipped classroom model into Paly life, it is possible for students to have less problem-oriented homework and more videos of lectures to watch online for homework.

The amount of interactive student-teacher activities are endless, and this new model would also allot more student-teacher question time and minimize homework that needs to be done outside of class.

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