Flipped classrooms offer the student the opportunity to stop, reflect, and review the lesson (often the lesson is in video form) instead of frantically taking notes. This feature alone is a huge advantage and fosters individual learning styles. But, couple these advantages with the teacher being able to focus on the application of concepts and you have a win-win situation.
Here’s a quick reminder of what a flipped classroom is. A flipped classroom is a teaching technique in which content delivery and introduction to concepts happens outside the classroom. For example, homework might be to watch a short video on how to balance a chemical equation. Class time is spent applying what was learned in the video. In our example, the student would balance chemical equations while getting help from the teacher as needed.
This is a simplistic view and there are certainly more examples of flipped classrooms…but, you get the idea.
In order to flip a classroom, digital media tools are required. Most flipped classrooms use video content a great deal and being able to create video content is a must.
Sharing this content is also vital. Once you have created a video, do you just post it on YouTube?
Finally, collaborating is a key to success for flipped classrooms. Students not only watch a video; they also collaborate with classmates about the content.
Let’s look at several free options.
A very easy to use and, of course, free tool to record your computer screen is Screencast-O-Matic. On their website, just click Start Recording. The application uses Java so you must have Java installed on your computer. You can even record your webcam and screen at the same time.
If you want more features try CamStudio. This free application (you have to install it) creates excellent screen recordings and produces clear audio.
Jing is a cool little application that you install on your computer. You can have it running all the time or just when you want. Just click the Jing icon and start recording. The quality is excellent but, keep in mind you cannot edit videos…so, practice and record in one take!
If you are looking for an amazing platform for sharing and collaboration, look no further than Schoology. As a teacher, you can create a free account. The user interface is familiar and very easy to use. Create lessons, load videos, encourage comments, and much more.
Okay, you are probably thinking Wikispaces is old news. But actually, it is hard to beat. You can create all sorts of content, have students collaborate, and share in a protected environment.
What digital tools do you suggest?