WEB EX: New teaching method 'flips' classroom learning

Published: Aug. 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2012 at 8:39 PM CDT
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DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - When a teacher is instructing students in a classroom, there is often a lecture, students listen, and many take notes. The student then takes home assignments and puts what they heard and saw in the classroom to work.

But in a "flipped classroom," homework is done in class and the lecture is viewed at home via a computer. Each classroom teacher tweaks the methodology to suit the students' needs.

A 6th grade math class at Oak Park will try out the new method this year. The students will get netbooks, and they will take advantage of the flip method.

Vice Principal Karissa Lang said this method allows students to go home and learn about a subject, then come back to class and put what they learned to work. From there, they put it into practice and this frees up the teacher to work with each individual student.

Lang said many students struggle when they don't get the support they need at home and that flipping the classroom can help.

"We find if they don't get that support [at home], they are unable to be successful at it," said Lang. "So with this concept, we're able to monitor that practice in class."

Educators who have studied this method said there are several advantages to this new way of teaching, including fewer high school dropouts and higher grades. It also takes some burden off parents.

"Whether you're a college graduate or not, if you haven't had algebra in years, you're not going to be able, sometimes, to help your child," added Lang.

Depending on how this trial run goes, Lang said they may consider expanding the flip method to more classes next year.

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