Like the articles Understanding the Flipped Classroom: Part 1 and Part 2 talk about, the concept of flipped classroom has been around for decades and with the addition of more technology into teaching methods, flipping the classroom has become easier and more effective. I feel flipped classrooms should be used more often, wherever possible, to improve the quality of the class time spent with the instructor.
In the course that I teach, I introduce the use of computers to students from various trades like Carpentry, Heavy duty mechanics, Electrical, Plumbing etc. Since I feel that it’s important to emphasize why students learn what they learn, I always use a flipped classroom method to help students understand how computers can be effectively used in their respective trades. I ask my students to find out for themselves, from a source of their choice, how computers can help them in their trades. When students actively research and come to class with their findings, it helps the whole class get various ideas. Also, since students have identified the use of computers themselves, they do not feel that they have to use them just because I tell them it’s important.
There are a few concerns that affect the flipping process even in a time when it seems like Technology is accessible to anyone, especially in developed countries. Since many of my students haven’t had the need to use computers in their fields or at their work places, they sometimes don’t have access to computers and internet. Students who lack the motivation, or, who genuinely feel computers are useless to them, come up with this inaccessibility as excuse to avoid homework. In such cases, I ask them to talk to core instructors in their respective trades about usefulness of computers.
The above is one example of how I flip my classroom. I try to keep looking for “Flippable” moments and have always found flipped learning to be very effective since it helps students get more involved in the learning process and also helps them find purpose in what they learn.