Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Flip Your Minds before Flipping Your Classrooms

We would like to start this post with some great ideas that Peter Pappas brought to us.


How to Flip Your Classroom – and Get Your Students to Do the Work

from Peter Pappas (under CC-BY-SA license)

Recently I shared lunch with colleague and friend, Mike Gwaltney. He teaches in a variety of blending settings both in class and online. We got into an interesting discussion about ways to deliver instructional content and learning process both in and outside the classroom.

The conversation quickly turned to the notion of “flipping the classroom.” This is the idea that teachers shoot videos of their lessons, then make them available online for students to view at home. Class time is then devoted to problem solving – with the teacher acting as a guide to teams of students. It’s a great approach that flips the delivery of the lesson to homework – it’s like a TiVo time shift that can reshape your classroom. More about flipping here.

Watch this video to see flipping in action – cool graphics courtesy of Camtasia Studio.

Both of us admired teachers (like these in the video) with the time, technology and talent to do video productions – but questioned how many teachers would be able to morph into video producers. Moreover, with the growing catalogue of free online content – we questioned why a teacher would even want to bother to produce their own online material. As Mike quipped – “why would someone video their own Lincoln lecture – when you can watch Gary Wills online?”

Flip the delivery of the lesson to homework – it’s like a TiVo time shift that can reshape your classroom.

Ultimately, we saw flipping the class as a great opportunity to engage our students in taking more responsibility for their learning. Why not let your students curate the video lessons from existing content on the web?

As a follow up to our chat, here’s my seven-step how to:

1. Start slow! Pick a single upcoming lesson or unit that you already plan to teach.
2. Recruit a few of your savviest students to do the research to find existing online video material to support the lesson. They should include a text overview defining what the students should be looking for in the video.
3. Also work with the student team to develop an in-class activity that students will do after viewing the video.

4. Post the video lesson to your content manager. Don’t have one? Just use a free Google website – very easy to embed or link to videos there.
5. Then run the video as a pilot lesson for the whole class. Part of their assignment is to decide what they like (and don’t like) about the each component of the lesson. In other words, they assist in the design of rubrics for selection of videos and integration of the video lessons into a classroom activities.
6. Then repeat step 1-3 until you get a good basis for selection of future videos.
7. Repeat 1-6, as needed, until your students have curated a collection of online content to support your classroom. They would also be responsible for better defining what constitutes “high-quality” online content and how that can be best used to support a more student-centered classroom.

Extension: You might even consider adding some pre-assessment for upcoming units – using a formative pre-test or student self-assessment rubric to let students decide which elements of an upcoming unit need video support. Then based on the formative assessment – assign teams of students to curate online content while you work with them in class to design future follow up class activities.

If this process works, think of all the class time you would free up. No concerns of running out of time to “cover” the required material. Instead of class time being filled with the pointless transfer of information from teacher to student, you and your students would have the time to apply and explore the content in a more engaging and project-based classroom.

Who knows you might gain so much time that you’ll have the chance to discover your inner Scorsese – and go on to produce your own instructional videos?

Image credit: flickr/Nasser Nouri


With abundant instructional multimedia resources available, with more open educational resources than ever, flipped classrooms are feasible in the 21st century. In the flipped classrooms, students are in charge of their learning. In a student-centered and student-engaged learning process, we can expect more personalized learning, and different needs can be achieved.

Embedded below is an infographic about Flipped Classroom basic concepts and results, by Knewton.

flipped classroom, flip teaching

If you would like more resources about flipped teaching, this link Flipped Classroom will bring you to a bag full of practices, ideas, tools and resources.

Comments from our old site are copied/pasted as below:

This Ted Talk by Salman Khan describes this flipped classroom idea. I like the idea presented here of having students create some of the content.

Posted @ Wednesday, August 31, 2011 6:58 AM by Dale Glass
Thank you for adding good information !

Posted @ Thursday, September 01, 2011 6:51 AM by John Medici
This is a “” curates about this topic, more information for reference.

Posted @ Monday, September 12, 2011 11:21 AM by Jessie C.
More resources about flipped classroom :
7 Stories From Educators About Teaching In The Flipped Classroom instruction by Jac de Haan

Posted @ Monday, September 12, 2011 8:10 PM by Jessie C.
Thinking Flipped Classrooms is a bold idea ? YouTube is backing you up :
You can get tips about using YouTube and enable :
*Turn mini-lessons into short videos that students can watch on their own time.
*Record directions and explanations so you don’t waste time repeating yourself.
*Students can pause and replay your explanations whenever they need help – it’s almost like 1:1 tutoring and can especially help students who were out sick.
*Create a YouTube station in your classroom where students can work independently, freeing yourself up to work with small groups.
*Minimize student’s summer learning slide by creating review activities for outgoing students or preview content for incoming students.
*Students can continue the learning at home by exploring playlists of videos on the Roman Empire.And, even students can create their own videos to demonstrate their understanding and creativity.

Posted @ Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:32 PM by Jessie C.
This is about “flipped classroom” from Education Week :
Lectures Are Homework in Schools Following Khan Academy Lead

Posted @ Friday, October 07, 2011 8:54 AM by Jessie C.
Besides launching YouTube Teachers site a few weeks ago, YouTube plans to add hundreds of thousands of more educational videos onto the EDU site which was launched two years ago, in which previous contents are more on higher ed., newly added contents will be more on K-12, as well as post-college content — what’s referred to as “lifelong learning.” In addition, comments will be disabled and related videos will only be educational, both of which are a source of anxiety around exposing kids to inappropriate content.

Posted @ Tuesday, October 11, 2011 12:02 PM by Ben Mathew
There are over 2000 educators joining professional learning community “The flipped Class Network” to share their experience of using vodcasting in classrooms.

Posted @ Thursday, October 13, 2011 4:48 PM by Jessie C.
A blog written by educators and students involved in the flipped classroom project is here :

Posted @ Wednesday, October 26, 2011 7:42 AM by Jessie C.
This is a great article explaining the whole picture of “flipped classroom”, and resources :
The Flipped Classroom Model: A Full Picture

Posted @ Tuesday, November 01, 2011 4:14 PM by John Medici
This presentation explains why and how to flip classrooms, the website itself offers details on flipping your class :

Posted @ Thursday, November 10, 2011 10:06 AM by John Medici
Especially noted the item 4. Allow user control of the video. YouTube has a feature called Deep Linking. In essence, it allows you to link to a specific time in your video. Using deep links can help you create a menu to different parts of your video. There are two ways to do this… (please read in the linked post)

Posted @ Sunday, December 04, 2011 6:56 PM by Jessie C.

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2 Responses »


  1. Growing Your Textbooks by Thinking Outside The Box | Classroom Aid
  2. Five-Minute Film Festival: Flipped Classrooms « « DediCommDediComm

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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