time, we re-evaluated every assign-
ment and its place in our curriculum.
And today our videos are optional as
well. We give students choices in how
they want to learn. Most of our stu-
dents watch our videos, but others are
learning from their textbooks or from
online simulations. We have essentially
given the responsibility of learning
to our students, and that is what the
flipped classroom is really about.
If you try flipping your classroom, I
think you will find that your students
start taking more responsibility for
their own learning as well. They will be
more engaged and active in your class-
room, where they will learn how to
work collaboratively. They will see you
more as a mentor and a coach instead
of a disseminator of knowledge. And if
you’re anything like me, you will never
want to go back to the old stand-and-
deliver method of teaching, because
you will see the benefits of the flipped
The amazing thing about flipping is that it enabled us to move from that
lecture-based classroom model to a learner-centered, problem-based,
inquiry-driven hub of learning.
model—all students engaged, learning,
challenged, and getting the individualized education they need.
Should all teachers flip? I think most
should consider the idea of flipping at
least some of their classes. Aaron and I
flipped everything. No more lectures!
But I am finding that this all-in approach doesn’t work in all grade levels.
In my new role as a technology facilitator for a K– 8 school, I am finding that
flipping individual lessons—especially
the more concrete ones, such as grammar and math—makes the most sense
in the younger grades. But I have seen
flipped classrooms work at every level,
from elementary to college.
Are all subjects flippable? Prob-
ably not. It seems to work best with
subjects that tend to be more linear,
such as math, science, and foreign
language. We know English and even
PE teachers (check out www.flipped-
coach.com to see how that works)
who flip with great success, however.
students learn through ideas like project-based and collaborative learning.
Why aren’t we finding innovative ways
for our students to connect, collaborate, and create instead of new ways to
simply consume information?
We need to adjust the way we think about education, not just the way it
looks. We need to move education forward, not sideways. Until then, the
flipped classroom and similar concepts will continue to move education
along the same track instead of helping it jump the track altogether.
Teachers are still held accountable for
student achievement. The flipped classroom puts control of learning into the
hands of students. This idea is worth
pursuing, but it unfortunately clashes
with the current push for teacher accountability across the world. Teachers
are tasked with being the experts who
educate students and are held accountable for proving it through standardized
testing, when each student should be
held accountable for his/her own learning. That means we must place less emphasis on standardized testing and more
on inquiry- and project-based learning.
Until that shift in thinking takes place,
concepts like the flipped classroom
cannot work effectively.
Not every home can support a flipped
classroom. My biggest concern about
the flipped classroom model is that
access to the flipped classroom is
not ubiquitous. Because much of the
world is still without wired broad-
band internet, especially rural areas
and areas with high poverty rates,
an overwhelming number of stu-
dents are not able to participate in
flipped classrooms. Even those with
wireless access will have to contend
with bandwidth and data-capping
restraints. Making technology use at
home mandatory would serve only to
increase the academic achievement
gap between high- and low-income
students that is already prevalent in
education. Until broadband is in ev-
ery home, the flipped classroom will
disenfranchise a segment of students,
leaving them lacking in necessary
instruction while their more affluent
peers continue to succeed.