I had a hard time choosing only a couple of topics. One that has really resonated with me, however, is the Flipped Classroom that was written about in “The One World School House” by Salman Khan.
I am fascinated by this concept and think it is a great idea. Instead of assigning work that kids 1) don’t want to do at home, and 2) may not get done if the concepts aren’t understood, why not just assign a lecture video-which is not more than 9-15 minutes long? Valuable class time could then be spent working on the practice exercises. A teacher is in class to answer questions, other students are also available to help as well. I believe that the “homework” of watching a video would be more readily completed if the student knew it would take less than 20 minutes of their evening. Sometimes, not knowing how long they would spend on homework is part of the procrastination of getting it done!
As with anything, there are pro’s and con’s. This is a hands-on approach that requires a lot of front-end preparation, but involves students in their own education.
1. Students have more control
2. It promotes student-centered learning and collaboration
3. Lessons and content are more accessible (provided there is tech access)
4. Access = easier for parents to see what’s going on
5. It can be more efficient
1. It can create or exacerbate a digital divide
2. It relies on preparation and trust
3. There is significant work on the front-end
4. Not naturally a test-prep form of learning
5. Time in front of screens–instead of people and places–is increased