Awhile back (December 2011 actually), I started discussing my feelings of the fad-of-the-moment in instructional technology, the flipped classroom. You know, you record yourself teaching a lesson, post it to YouTube, students watch at home (*chuckle*) and then in class they work through examples. Yeah, in some cases, that may work, but as I said then:
isn’t this another form of direct instruction? Yes, I can watch an instructional video, but that is probably my learning style. If we continue to preach to teach higher level thinking, is lecture style, even on YouTube, worthy?
So an educator I follow and respect, who shares lots of ideas and resources, James Byrne from the Northeast (and the awesome Free Technology for Teachers Blog) has sort of come out with the same level headed thinking. He as well does not think it does not have merit, but we are currently seeing it deployed everywhere without good planning first. Also the attention to detail and circumstances, like he mentions here:
Furthermore, if you flip the classroom and students come to class having not watched the video lessons, how do you spend your classroom time the next day? Do you let students watch the videos in class? Do you reteach the lesson that they should have watched for homework?
We obviously got the buy in from administrations. I cannot tell you how many Superintendents I talk with who ask about Khan and ask if we do similar things. But we really need to slow down, look through this, and go forward. We may have some buy-in and interest we usually do not possess. Let’s not waste it!