Although the flipped classroom concept has been around for a while now, only in the past two years has it become one of the most talked-about trends in education technology. Flipped classrooms let students view teacher-created multimedia lectures on their own time, freeing up classroom sessions for active learning with greater teacher engagement. With the growing dissatisfaction with what many agree is our antiquated education model, the flipped classroom concept has gained popularity nationwide. Some tout it as a revolution in education.
As educators from K-12 and higher learning continue expanding curriculums to include more Web content, many developers see the trend as an opportunity for innovation. As a result, a diversity of applications has cropped up to meet the growing demand for flipped classroom technology. Below we look at four examples.
TabSuite, a new platform developed by educational video technology provider Aver, lets teachers integrate live video with images, drawings, and animations to create Web-based multimedia lessons for students. Developed to maximize the iPad’s potential as an educational tool, TabSuite includes the TabCam, a device that captures and streams live video directly to the instructor’s iPad, allowing for broadcast to a projector or monitor. The accompanying TabCam app lets teachers annotate and manipulate videos before sharing them.
Developed specifically for the iPad generation, Aver’s offering also includes TabSync, a portable charging station designed to hold up to 32 iPads, outfitted with the ability to simultaneously sync each device with classroom content from any Mac. Not long ago, handheld technologies were considered strictly taboo in the classroom. With emerging products such as TabSuite, however, we are seeing a growing movement towards the connected classroom, in which each student has access to a device. While multimedia videos created with the TabCam can be viewed on any connected device, TabSync endorses the iPad as the optimal digital tool for the classroom. It’s a sensible gambit, but limited resources and funding inequalities could limit their large-scale integration in many classrooms.
Unlike Aver’s TabCam, Panopto Focus does not require any additional hardware. Teachers can capture lectures with an app that runs on any laptop and archive, edit, and manage recordings on Panopto’s Web-based video CMS and media editor. Uniquely, Panopto gives students the opportunity to use their own devices to record and submit multimedia class assignments that follow the template of their digital lessons.
Y Combinator company Knowmia Teach is a free video lesson hub focused on high school curriculums that lets registered teachers string a series of whiteboard slides together to create multimedia video lessons for their students. Educators can create and share multimedia presentations, and can include a small window in the top right corner showing the instructor’s face as they narrate the lesson. The platform also includes the Home Assignment Tool, which lets teachers develop online interactive assignments and track the real-time progress of each student.
Sophia.org, a Web-based education platform made possible by online institution Capella University, aims to provide both online courses and teacher resources for facilitating a flipped classroom, including a free “Flipped Class Certificate” program. The certificate program puts teachers back in the student seat with a series of online lessons, quizzes, and a final exam that asks teachers to submit a tutorial and a “playlist” of lessons for their courses.
Included among the teacher resources available through Sophia.org are 25,000 Web-based, teacher-created tutorials, as well as a platform for creating and sharing tutorials, playlists, and quizzes. Teachers can set up group pages on the website, so students can communicate and share information among themselves. A Group Analytics feature tracks student progress and provides data on when students access Sophia and how much time they spend on each tutorial.
Does flipping work?
While these platforms exemplify the current tools available to flipped teachers, they are just a few of the many applications available. With so much attention afforded to the development of tools to drive the flipped classroom, the question on everybody’s mind is whether or not flipping will prove a viable solution to fixing the education system. A survey conducted by TeacherView last June, which included the participation of 500 educators nationwide, showed that the introduction of the flipped classroom approach not only increased teacher job satisfaction among 80% of educators, but 80% of teachers also noticed an improvement in student attitudes, with 67% attesting to a significant improvement in test scores. Another survey from adaptive learning platform Knewton assembled equally impressive data, reporting that prior to facilitating the flip at Clintondale High School in Michigan, more than 50% of freshman students failed English and 44% failed math. With the flipped classroom in place, the number of freshman students failing English dropped to 19%, with only 13% failing math. The approach lets educators step away from the front of the classroom, bridging the gap between students and teachers. Expect education to continue flipping.