First of all, I just want to start off by saying I love Spark! I have actually downloaded all the podcasts and listen to them while I run. I know- what a nerd, right? The episode on Flipping the classroom was especially interesting – not because it is a new topic to me but more because it reaffirms that this style of teaching can really make a difference.  She mentioned visiting Colorado to attend a workshop put on by Aaron Samms and Johnathan Bergmann. I have shown their video numerous times in the workshop I teach on Blended Learning. I especially like their newsest version:

The flipped classroom just makes sense to me. If only this was available when I was taking Math 30 or high school chemistry way back when… I think my experience with these subjects would have been much different. Even though my department does support educational technology in the college, we always try to emphasize that it is not about the technology, it is about learning. Technology is simply one tool. The flipped classroom is a prime example of this. The learning is made more accessible through technology and allows students to absorb the information at their own pace and interact with it in a way that best suits thier learning style. This might mean watching a lecture over and over, taking notes and then doing further research to make connections with the material being learned and what is already familiar. It might mean watching it with a partner and then creating a presentation or an infographic that summarizes what they have learned and then presenting this to the class. I think one of the biggest benifits to this type of learning are the skills that students learn that aren’t necessarily related to the content but help them in other ways such as being able to work independently, self management, multiliteracies, different forms of communication (in the class or online). Commonsly referred to as 21st century skills should not be taught (in my opinion) in isolation but rather integrated into every subject, assessment and teaching method. The flipped classroom is a model that, if designed right, can help students not only learn the content in a way that best suits their learning needs but also helps them build skills that will help them succeed in today’s world.