Prior to learning about how the flipped classroom model works, I must admit to being a little afraid of how it would work in terms of how to provide content to my students. However, upon spending time researching, the content side of applying the strategy is a relatively simple undertaking as there are a host of websites out there that fit the task well such as screencastify and zaption.
Assuming students take the time to watch and participate in the flipped lesson there are numerous benefits. The biggest I can see being:
1. Being able to schedule the work when suits them.
2. Having the ability to stop and start the video as they choose, so repeating what they need and skipping what they don't.
3. Coming to class with the knowledge already in their brains so class time can be used for collaboration, creation, communication and critical thinking.
These benefits are similar for teachers with one huge extra benefit of being able to spend more time working with individual students instead of needing to spend precious class time lecturing a one-speech fits all presentation.
There are however, some major drawbacks with relying on the flipped classroom model in my school, which is 75% Latino, many if whom have not graduated high school and in a rural area.
According to the Pew Research Center, June 21, 2015:
- Class differences: Those with college educations are more likely than those who do not have high school diplomas to use the internet. Similarly, those who live in households earning more than $75,000 are more likely to be internet users than those living in households earning less than $30,000. Still, the class-related gaps have shrunk dramatically in 15 years as the most pronounced growth has come among those in lower-income households and those with lower levels of educational attainment.
- Racial and ethnic differences: African-Americans and Hispanics have been somewhat less likely than whites or English-speaking Asian-Americans to be internet users, but the gaps have narrowed. Today, 78% of blacks and 81% of Hispanics use the internet, compared with 85% of whites and 97% of English-speaking Asian Americans.
- Community differences: Those who live in rural areas are less likely than those in the suburbs and urban areas to use the internet. Still, 78% of rural residents are online.
Until I can be sure that the majority of my students have access to the internet, it will be hard for me to require my students to prepare for class at home. I am also concerned about if my students would actually go for the flipped model. My school historically does not do well with homework, for whatever reason - maybe the kids are busy with sports, with babysitting siblings as parents work, lack of internet access, lack of parental support to name a few. With that in mind, while I begin to use the flipped model, I would likely use it for additional help in my classroom and for a substitute teacher to use upon my absence.