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Flipping the Classroom

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Learning-by-doing is one of he most effective ways to pick up—and keep—new skills. A new learning model that is generating enthusiasm among both veteran and new educators, “flipping the classroom,” combines the effectiveness of experiential learning with the power of he internet and a variety of emerging technologies to essentially “flip the classroom.” Many educators are finding that this academic reversal—having students experience the traditional classroom lecture at home (online), followed by doing their “homework” in class—is actually giving educators the time and technological tools to offer their students more individualized, personal attention.

“Flip your instruction so that students watch and listen to your lectures…for homework,” explained Jonathan Martin, Head of St. Gregory College Preparatory School and an educational blogger. “ And then use your precious class-time for what previously, often, was done in homework: tackling difficult problems, working groups, researching, collaborating, crafting and creating. Classrooms become laboratories or studios, and yet content delivery is preserved.”

To harness the energy and enthusiasm created by successful flipped-classroom experiences, Ideastream® and the SMART Consortium are planning an extensive initiative around this innovative educational model.

The first phase of this initiative occurred on December 14, 2011 at the Idea Center® at Playhouse Square when over 200 teachers and education leaders gathered for a morning seminar to learn about the flipped-classroom model. Topics included how the flipped classroom movement began, what’s driving it, what it looks like and what the early student achievement results are indicating.

Jerry Overmyer, Mathematics and Science Outreach Coordinator for the University of Northern Colorado, delivered the keynote address. Jerry is the creator and facilitator for the Flipped Class Network, an online professional learning community for teachers using vodcasting and the flipped-teaching model.

Participants also heard from Lisa Bowers, Mentor Exempted Village Schools, and Kristen Field, Brooklyn City Schools, two high school teachers who are successfully using the flipped model in their science and mathematics classrooms, respectively.

For more information about future Flipping Initiatives from The SMART Consortium and WVIZ/PBS Ideastream®, go to


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