I viewed a similarly changed classroom on January 30th, which was the global open house for Flipped Classrooms. Mr. Greg Blatz was our host to sixth, seventh, and eighth grade math classes in session that day located at St. Thomas Aquinas school in Indianapolis. As his first year flipping, he has made several preparations over the summer before instituting it this fall.
The biggest question when instituting the flip is what video material you will use. We have noticed many teachers feel more comfortable making their own videos from scratch, lecturing and using podcast images just as they would to a class. They then know exactly what is being taught and the personal connection remains between student and teacher. Mr. Blatz used online videos that came with the text books, but planned to remake videos in his own way for next year over the summer break. (Perhaps he will use FlippedLessons.com!)
One question that everyone asks is “What about students without home computers or home internet connection?” Mr. Blatz said he was ready for this with several handheld mp3 devices with screens ready to be sent home, and also dvds of the videos if nothing else worked. However, of all his students, only two had either no computer or unreliable connection, and both were able to find time to watch presentations at the school before class or at the public library.
Talking to students in the class, the response to the change was very positive. Students who wanted to improve were more capable and felt stronger as learners. Mr. Blatz agreed that he feels this way of teaching is the right thing to and could not go back, because it would not be to his student’s benefit.
Moving forward to improve education is what it’s all about. The Flipped Lessons team could not agree more! Thank you to Mr. Blatz for the window into your flipped classroom.