Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flipping the Classroom: A Guest Blog Post

Thanks to my colleague Burgen Young for this guest post!

Flipping the Classroom
Do you wish for more class time for practice but need to use that time to explain content instead? Then flipping the classroom may for you. In a traditional class the teacher lectures during class and students do application exercises for homework. In a flipped class, the content is delivered by assigning students to use resources such as video lectures, podcasts, or screencasts at home, freeing up class time for application.

Why flip? What are the benefits?
The main benefit is that more class time can be devoted to practice. Students come to class with questions and the class can go deeper with the material.
Advantages also include that students can work at their own pace through the resources, absent students don’t miss out on the introduction of new material, and students can review content whenever they want. Students can hit the pause or rewind buttons as many times as necessary without feeling like they are burdening their teacher. Plus, it is sometimes possible for students to watch lectures by experts in the field.

What if students don’t have computers at home?
It is still possible to share resources with students by copying the resources onto DVDs that students can play in a DVD player. If purchased in bulk, DVDs are inexpensive.
If students don’t have Internet access, but do have computers, the resources can be copied onto a flash drive.

Where can I find resources?
There are free lectures available on iTunes, YouTube, TeacherTube, SchoolTube, and other specialized sites. Be sure to check out the great math and science resources available at Kahn Academy.
You can also create your own customized resources. All you need is a recording devise of your choice. Use a video camera, or create a podcast using Audacity and a reasonable microphone on your computer. Create a screen cast using Jing and record your voice while you show PowerPoint slides or other software.

Can language teachers flip?
Flipping works best for classes that are taught lecture style. Flipping can work for some language lessons, such as grammar, vocabulary, or life skills lessons. Check out this example of a vocabulary lesson for a Spanish class.

Where can I learn more?
Check out this article at EmergingEdTech to learn from others who have flipped their classrooms. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Can't get enough of Tech Training blogs?  When things are slow around here, there's plenty to be found elsewhere.

My friend and MLC colleague Jason Brazier (who occasionally guest posts here) is blogging too.  You can find him at:  He's got some nice posts up about managing email and dealing with recalcitrant printers, among other things.

You can also find good language teaching tech ideas over at Nik Peachy's ESL Tech Blog: