Fear that the flipped class would lead to less engaged students who simply look at videos: This is actually the opposite of what I experienced as a teacher and what others who employ the flip experience. We are discovering that what actually happens is that student engagement and student-teacher interaction increases. I feel this is one of the greatest strengths of the flip.
The flipped class hurts students who have limited access to technology: I am surprised at how often I continue to see this objection. When Aaron and I started the flip in 2007 we had a number of students without both computers and access to high speed internet. We HAD to solve this problem. We simply took 4-6 videos and burned them onto a DVD and handed the DVD’s out to students. Some students who had a computer at home but not high speed internet brought in flash drives and took home the videos that way. If you really want to see an example of how the flip is working with a school with low SES, watch this video of Greg Green’s school on the outskirts of Detroit.
One of the problems we noticed right away about teaching in a relatively rural school is that many of our students missed a lot of school due to sports and activities. The nearby schools are not nearby. Students spent an inordinate amount of time on buses traveling to and from events. Thus, students missed our classes and struggled to stay caught up.
In his classes, Bergmann says, students can’t just “watch the video and be done with it.” He checks their notes and requires each student to come to class with a question. And, while he says it takes a little while for students to get used to the system, as the year progresses he sees them asking better questions and thinking more deeply about the content. After flipping his classroom, Bergmann says he can more easily query individual students, probe for misconceptions around scientific concepts, and clear up incorrect notions.
Traditional classroom interactions are also flipped. Typically, the most outgoing and engaged students ask questions, while struggling students may act out. Bergmann notes that he now spends more time with struggling students, who no longer give up on homework, but work through challenging problems in class.
I wonder what are the long term implications of this flipped interaction? I was, in large part, imparted a tremendous amount of confidence by my early interactions as a "teachers pet" and overall very engaged student. Does this empower quick learners or remove a social dimension of learning from their development phase? Who knows....