Flipped learning expert, Jon Bergmann recently announced the launch of the Flipped Learning Certification program. I was fortunate enough to access a pre-release version of the program and become the first ever Flipped Learning Certified Educator. In this post, I want to share some of the insights from the course and perspectives on Flipped Learning.
Why Flipped Learning?
According to Bergmann, Flipped Learning, is about making the most of class time by leveraging the flexibility afforded by technologies. Flipped learning makes the most of group and individual instruction to free up teachers to better support learners. In a nutshell, the shift happens by moving direct instruction from the group space into the individual space. In theory, teachers will have more time to support learners with more complex aspects of learning. In practice, although videos are a key element of Flipped Learning, the essence of flipped learning is re-inventing in-class time to enable students to develop and apply mastery learning.
Personally, I connected this understanding with principles of cognitive psychology and self-determination theory popularised by author Dan Pink in his book Drive where Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose are deeply connected to motivate learning and the application of skills purposefully. In this initial course, Bergmann hints at the advanced levels of Flipped Learning where purposeful mastery is developed. For those already applying a design-thinking, challenge based learning, problem based learning, or inquiry learning approach, getting hold of Flipped Learning tools and approaches promises to amplify these pedagogies. For those teaching more traditionally, this course may change your thinking about your approach, and show you how to free up time to improve student learning.
How to Flip
The course provides many examples of how to get started creating flipped resources and embracing the flexibility offered by technology. Bergmann covers a breadth of topics to enable individual teachers as well as administers get started with Flipped Learning. Rich with examples, Bergmann, shares expertise from his own experience as a Tech Director and High School Science teacher as well as examples from other Flipped Learning practitioners.
Of particular interest to K-6 Educators is what Bergmann calls the “In Flip”. The In Flip changes up the structure of face to face class time to include blended learning or technology enhanced learning, with a particular focus on direct instruction delivery. By providing direct instruction in the individual space (eg. on a computer or mobile device), students are able to pause, rewind and access instruction as needed. What this means for teachers is more time working with small groups and providing specialised direct instruction when and where needed. In this way, teachers spend time recording Flipped learning video resources so students tune in to direct instruction before applying the concepts learned.
The Flipped Learning certification course makes the why, what, and how of Flipped Learning clear. Given the rapidly changing nature of technology and varied technological contexts between schools, educators will need to use their imagination about how to approach Flipped Learning in their contexts. For me, I could see many possibilities to add Flipped Learning into our existing rich inquiry practice to continue the shift to learner-centered learning. For example, teachers can create eBooks with video instruction for students to access when and where needed. Flipped learning principles can also be applied to fostering strong connections between home and school by flipping parent information nights and parent communication. While the initial course just scratches the surface of what is possible for learning in a digital age, the course is a useful beginner’s guide to understand the possibilities. If you aren’t yet flipping, are currently flipping and want certification, or are an administrator wanting to leverage technology more broadly to enhance learning, the Flipped Learning Certification course is worth looking into.
For Educational Leaders, Tech Integrators and Tech Directors
Whole school strategies are needed to harness technology for learning. Bergmann shares insight into technology decision-making that has broad impact on teaching and learning. I would invite school leaders to consider other organizational changes needed to provide policy, communication, infrastructure, resource provisioning, professional learning, and support systems to enable digital learning approaches, including Flipped Learning. Flipped Learning may well be the starting point to learning in a digital age. Have a look at the Flipped Learning Global Initiative.