Flipped Classroom

ImageThe purpose of flipping the classroom is to shift from passive to active learning to focus on the higher order thinking skills. In terms of Bloom’s revised taxonomy (2001), this means that students are doing the lower levels of cognitive work (gaining knowledge and comprehension) outside of class, and focusing on the higher forms of cognitive work (application, analysis, synthesis and/or evaluation) in class where they have the support of their peers and instructor.

The flipped classroom provides avenues for teachers to become facilitators of learning and more away from the sage on stage approach to teaching.

The instructor remains available to students as a facilitator of resources, a resource who should frequently check students for understanding for their learning. The teacher, when necessary will provide guidance in how to process the information for a unit of study. The facilitator role in a flipped classroom changes dramatically in that the teacher becomes a source to student in how to better use the resources, process in information and how to apply the core concepts to real life situations.

Flipping a classroom brings many benefits. Flipping uses technology to remove passive, one-way lecturing as the only means of teaching. Thus, the instructor and students can interact within the newly gained instructional time. The increase of teacher-student interaction during class time is what characterizes its success. This model also makes differentiating instruction based on student’s needs easier because everyone does not necessarily need to do the same task.

Of course, as with anything, there are going to be some disadvantages to the flipped structure of learning as well. Just as classroom lecturing works better for some and doesn’t work for others, the flipped classroom method is not going to accommodate every individual perfectly. The biggest set back today to the flipped classroom method is that not all students and schools have access to technologies that can really work for this method.

Students from lower income areas and lower income families may not have access to the computers and internet technologies that the flipped classroom requires. The structure really hinges on every student having personal access to his or her own personal device. This simply is not the case for every student and every school district. Students who do not have personal home computers or access to the internet would be forced to use public computers at a library or at the school. This, to some degree, eliminates the personal and private experience of taking in the lecture. What makes having lectures as homework so powerful is that students can do it on their own time and in their own way. At a library computer or school computer time limits typically exist and access can be limited if it is busy. This is problematic.

 Another downside to the idea of the flipped classroom that many people bring up is the fact that students would be spending all of their “homework time” plugged-in in front of a computer screen. Not only do not all students do well with learning from a screen, but this also adds to a student’s time in front of a screen and sitting sedentary. While this concern isn’t singular to the flipped classroom, the teaching concept doesn’t help our young students to get up and get away from their computers, televisions, and iPods.




Blended Learning

Like any other great blend, Education Elements believes blended learning works because it combines two things in a way that makes each better than they are on their own: teachers’ talent and technology tools. Blended learning allows teachers to do what they do best – work directly and closely with individual students and small groups – by harnessing the adaptive power and precision of technology.

The best blended learning approaches use technology to:

* help each student master the content and skills they need,
* allow teachers to get the most out of their planning and
*instructional time, and streamline operations with costs similar to
or less than – traditional schooling.

The result of smart blended learning is richer and deeper interactions between teachers and students (and between students themselves) than in traditional classrooms. Integrating technology and teaching allows students to fully master content and skills, and at the pace that’s right for them.

Think about it this way: an average classroom sets a “speed limit” for the class – bounded by grade-level standards and assessments – making it hard for some kids to catch up and holding others from moving ahead when they’re ready. But blended learning revs up students’ learning velocity, allowing them to go further and faster.

Millennials, who are they?

Lately, a lot of people are talking about a specific young group called Millennials.  But, why is so important to know who and how are they? Well, because is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce.

Millennials, is an abbreviation for millennial generation, is a term used by demographers to describe a segment of the population born between 1980 and 2000 (approximately). Millennials are also known as “Generation Y” or sometimes they are called the Net generation because (at least according to some people) they don’t remember a time when there was no Internet. According to a FORBES’survey, Millennials will make up 36 percent of the work force by 2014 and 46 percent by 2020. So, employers cannot ignore the needs, desires and attitudes of this vast generation.

This young people were wanted and they feel individually and collectively special as a result. They feel connected to their parents and they are optimistic and engaged. However, Millennials are so comfortable with significant parental involvement that they expect parents and college employees resolve their conflicts and protect them. They expect to be engaged in their learning, they do not do well being passive learners.  If you (as a teacher/university) do not have technology that will be part of their learning, they will go somewhere else where they can be engaged with, and interactive with technology.

The trend toward Millennials using IPods and laptop computers rather than desktop computers reflects their preference toward a more portable learning environment. Students value the benefits of online learning including balancing work and class, flexibility in assignments and lower costs, more students are doing virtual internships and more employees are working remotely than ever before. As the world becomes more virtual, it will lower costs and allow more students who couldn’t afford education or don’t want to deal with outrageous students loans to educate themselves.

This generation grew up with technology and relies on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with BlackBerrys, laptops, cellphones and other gadgets they are plugged-in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail and text messaging rather than face-to-face contact and prefers webinars and online technology to traditional lecture-based presentations.  

Millennials, are entering the workplace in record numbers. They are idealistic, diverse, digitally-enabled, social and perhaps most importantly, ambitious. While these are all traits that can make a positive impact on your organization, it is a tall task to retain and motivate millennials for a variety of reasons.

A study by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and the YEC , which is outlined in the graphic below, illustrates the traits that make millennials hirable, and how they differ from previous generations.


The 21st Century Classroom

In the global networked environment of 21st Century, students need to learn academic content through real-world examples, applications and experiences, both inside and outside of school. They understand and retain more when their learning is relevant, engaging and meaningful to their lives.

Consequently, educators should incorporate the lastest research in cognition, technology and so many others areas to make the classroom a vibrant center of learning where all students have a change to access tools that help them learn. Students use technology all the time in their lives, therefore, it is important to improve schools where learners are illuminated, enthusiastic and empowered.


        Just a few data…

  • 91% of teachers have computers in the classroom, yet only 20% think they have the right level of technology in the classroom,
  • More than half of all (U.S) colleges surveyed say their biggest priority is upgrading their Wi-Fi infrastructure,
  • College campuses saw a 60% increase in mobile devices in the previous year,
  • Gamification of the classroom – 43% of teachers surveyed have used online games in the classroom, and
  • 29% of teachers use online social networks, while 80% of college professors do so.

By youngupstarts.com