Who would’ve thought that a short video of a high school teacher giving a lecture on subject-verb agreements could get 60,000 hits?
Yet, it’s entirely conceivable that this statistic signals the first in an educational revolution that will change the standard classroom forever. An increasing number of teachers are tapping into online videos of standard classroom lectures and “flipping it” for their students.
“Flipping it” has become the popular term to describe a new teaching technique in which students watch a lecture at home and do what is generally considered homework while in the classroom. A few schools around the country have begun experimenting with this method. They are singing the results.
Students say that they prefer watching lectures on their own time, and in their own way—a phone, a laptop on the bus, at home with their parents. While the use of classroom time to collaborate and engage with teachers or other students is getting rave results.
Teachers are either making their own videos, or tapping into a growing number of online lectures that other teachers have posted. It’s not hard to imagine how this idea could really take off. Not only would it free teachers from repeating the same lecture year after year, but it would also give students access to instruction from the top teachers around the world.
While colleges of education don’t yet seem to be training teachers on how to produce their own home-video lectures, many have become familiar with massive online open courses, or MOOCS, like those debuted by Harvard and MIT earlier this year. Several years ago, one school just north of Detroit, Clintondale High School, became the first school in the country to “flip” its entire curriculum. Others are following, and school principals at these schools say that they are hosting hundreds of visits a year by interested leaders in education.