These days we’re all thinking about how to make our lives easier. Working from home, quickly learning how to use new tools and materials in virtual classrooms is definitely not helping. I bet some of you are thinking – I should have taken that ICT course in Split, Croatia, sooner, and I should have learned about the “flipped classroom” concept while I still had a chance.
Traditional way of teaching
Good news is that we are going to introduce this concept to you through this blog and share with you how we do it so that it really does, hopefully, make your life easier. But, what does it even mean? Traditional way of teaching means that we come to class and introduce a new topic. We have a “Lead in” phase, “learning” phase, “practicing” phase and then we either “communicate” or use this newly acquired knowledge in practice. Students go home and practice this while doing their homework.
The downsides are that we can never know how many students actually understood the lesson. And we never have enough time to explain everything to everyone individually. This is where flipped classroom concept can help.
What is a flipped classroom?
Flipped classroom means that the whole concept of teaching is inverted. Students are introduced to the learning material before class, so that time spent in the classroom is used for discussion with peers and problem-solving activities in order to deepen understanding of the subject.
Instead of time spent on explaining the subject and concepts students are not familiar with, this way students have more control, they can help each other understand the topic and it promotes collaboration. Lessons and content are more accessible and it is easier for parents to see what their kids are working on.
As any other concept, this one also has several disadvantages. First of all, it relies on trust that our students are actually going to prepare for the class. Teacher must prepare materials in advance as well. Making educational videos and sending documents takes time, but once the materials have been made, they can be recycled over and over again. This way, once the class starts, our students can actually deepen their understanding and ask questions immediately in case something wasn’t clear. We also have more time to focus on work with students who didn’t understand something, while faster students can get extra tasks or try to explain the subject to their peers in their own words.
How to use Facebook for a flipped classroom concept?
As previously mentioned in our last blog, Social Media is a great tool to use for distance learning and Facebook is no exception. It allows you to create a group and focus it on your class only. As an admin you can see everyone who posts, comments and contributes. Best thing about it is that it can be completely private and you can add members.
Flipped classroom concept requires sending materials before the class itself. Facebook group is a great place to post it as it allows you to see how many students have actually seen it. They can comment, ask questions immediately and actively participate in the process. They can easily access the materials whenever they want and they can watch it as many times as they want. Facebook also gives you an option of sharing documents. Students can contribute to the topic by posting their own posts, boards, or even videos where they are suing the knowledge of the subject. Again, everything stays in one place. Your Facebook group becomes a small class community and another classroom that doesn’t have only four walls.