flipourclass-logoMost teachers get into the profession because they have a wholehearted desire to teach kids the skills, lessons and content they need to know to be successful. However a lot of the traditional teaching methods are broken. It’s not that they aren’t effective or students are lazy it’s just the original concept of teaching only plays to one subset of the classroom. With limited time and resources it’s difficult for teachers to educate everyone in their class. The answer is not common core.

Across the country, and over the last decade or so, a new way of teaching has come about. For some teachers it began as an experiment of sorts, and drew from some of the ideals behind home schooling, unschooling and even Montesorri. It’s also drawn from a fact that people can’t quite wrap their heads around sometimes and that is that kids, students, actually want to learn.

The concept is called “flipping the classroom”. No it’s nothing drastic like letting students be the teacher, rather it draws upon the teacher’s willingness to spend a little extra time developing a new way to teach and a tiny bit of technology most of us use everyday.

The traditional classroom finds that there is a middle group of students that understands the content that the teacher is currently teaching. This middle group can stay with the teacher and isn’t lost with a 50 minute lecture classroom. The problem is that the teacher is really only teaching to this group. There are two other groups in the classroom as well.

The first group are the kids that are actually ahead. These kids are bored with the content and waiting to be challenged. This often transcends into them either acting out or falling asleep, becoming a distraction to the two other groups.

The second group is the kids that are behind. For whatever reason they haven’t mastered the content so they can’t move on to where the teacher is. These kids often have trouble articulating that need to the teacher or asking for help. A combination of peer pressure and just a genuine not understanding of the content lead this group to being behind.

FlipOurClass-imageFlipping the classroom has the teachers develop their content/lectures on videos. The students follow along to the videos at their own pace. The students must master the content on the videos before moving onto the next piece of content and skills. Students have the ability to ask other students questions about the content or ask the teacher. Now the teacher is spending 10% of their class time answering these questions and following up with a little more content for that understanding and 90% of the class time helping the students apply the content.

The Flip Our Class application, that will be displayed this week at OneSpark in Jacksonville Florida, is backed by a community of teachers who teach this way. They want to help other teachers understand the benefits to teaching this way,and through their application, give them a platform to do it.

The Flip Our Class Application will serve as a conduit for those teachers that are using this video mastery way of learning in their classroom. The app will eventually lead to sharing the content with other teachers and holding an archive of like content.

Now this has totally been done before. There are about 8 decent curriculum sharing apps out there, but not for the flipped classroom. Traditional curriculum sharing apps are filled with notes, work sheets, and references to assignments. Flip Our Class will give teachers access to other teachers basically and the way they taught in the videos in the first place.

One of the great things about Flip our Class and the flipped classroom model are that every teacher is doing it a little different. Some teachers are having themselves video taped while teaching a class, others are making the videos in a room by themselves while others even use other videos, graphics and images to make a full video experience. Whatever way works for each teacher and each student is good. Flip Our Class, the app will allow teachers, committed to the same way of teaching, collaborate from anywhere.

You can check out Flip Our Class at the EdSpark Venue, the Wells Fargo Building, during Onespark and find out more about it online here and here.