Why is Flipping the answer – or is it?

Reading a fellow blog post …. (on iPad4schools.org)
This image got me started thinking and I just had to reply.

I agree with the sentiment that we don’t always reach every student. I don’t see Flipping as THE answer. Flipping where students learn on their own implies they have the skills to learn on their own. Previewing content and activating prior knowledge. We assume that students will preview the material, we assume they can process the material. I have learned not to assume with a high inner-city, high ESL, and several low social emotional learners.

I have made my goal to do inquiry learning this year; however, my students do not have enough self-regulation to be more student centered and student directed. I have to build those skills while differentiating for a spectrum from grade 3 to 7 readers, grade 3 to 6 in numeracy and many social skill issues. As much as I want to do amazing learning opportunities, these students function best with high structure and teacher directed activities.

Differentiation relies on students being able to manage themselves while you provide support and differentiation to other students. Flipping also requires high technology and bandwidth.

All that said, I do enjoy Explain Everything, I provide group work, we do genius hour (within the scope of our class broad topic). There are lots of ways to meet learner needs. My experience this year with a challenging class – Flipping is NOT YET a possibility with this group. I am not sure even when they are ready to learn by flipping or if it would be the best choice. It is a tool in the toolkit. I think in Genius Hour work, some students could benefit with the extra support of providing a ‘reading list’ of videos that will prepare them to understand their own topic enough to dig into deeper questions. I would use Flipping in the same way I do other tools. As needed.

Ironically, I think that the image that caught me at the start of the blog could apply to Flipping itself depending on how it is implemented, the students learning styles, the students ability to listen, the students understanding of the language and many more factors.

Flipping can be done well – Flipping can be done poorly
Direct teaching can be done well – Direct teaching can be done poorly

Some students may disengage in both cases. The real question is what do we do to bring them back.

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