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If you work in the field of education you might have come across the concept of Flipped Classrooms, and they are in fact becoming a trend within the educational systems of the United States. However, if you have heard little about them or even nothing at all, right here and now we’re going to answer your questions about Flipped Classrooms.

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Don’t worry, you won’t have to move any furniture within your classroom or even teach your classes from end to beginning. Flipped Classroom is a much simpler concept and all you and your learners are going to need is a good Internet connection!

What is the difference between a flipped classroom and a traditional one?

First, let’s talk about what a traditional class is for most of us. Initially, we do a bit of a sum-up of what we taught on the previous class day. Then we usually move forward to a new topic. We explain all there is to this new topic we’re teaching, and then by the end of the day we give the students a bit (or a lot) of homework regarding the content taught in class. Students go home, and most of them do the tasks at hand. Others don’t. And we move on to a new topic for the next day.

The Flipped Classroom is exactly the opposite. In that sense, we mean basically giving the lecture to the students ‘at home’ and doing the homework alongside them in the classroom.

One positive aspect of this way of teaching is that students get to watch online lectures or read an assignment when they are relaxed and at home. They can take time to absorb all that is being presented and discuss the topics with their peers and teachers online. And once they get to the classroom, they can find answers to most or all of their questions, thus avoiding frustration and revisiting the concepts they didn’t fully understand.

With this way of teaching and learning there are obviously other aspects to be considered. For example, teachers must find or prepare about three videos a week that last within 5 to7 minutes. Also, they must be ready to answer whatever questions may come up in the classroom, and be ready to illustrate the concepts in a practical way.

The whole idea of Flipped Classrooms wouldn’t be possible without technology; it is the power that moves this theory from beginning to end.

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Thanks to cameras, computers and of course the Internet, students have the opportunity to watch over and over again the lectures that in the past were subject to a one-hour time frame.

This is without doubt one of the many beneficial aspects of the increase in student access to technology. The challenge for 21st Century Educators is to develop best practices in applying the Flipped Classroom in their courses.

Copyright © 2014 by Cengage Learning

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