So I know I keep posting about the “flipped” classroom model (already blogged about it here and here), but when something this transformational hits education, it bears repeating. I know what you’re thinking… This is just the latest instructional fad, destined to be forgotten a few years from now until the next one comes along. I’m normally just as skeptical when it comes to new trends in education, but this time it’s different. How so? Well, how about the fact that the students you teach now are different…more so than at any other point in your career. Sure, they have the same growing pains, insecurities, curiosities, hopes, and dreams that kids have had since since the first public school house opened, but these kids now…they’re digital natives. They love screens, learning from videos as well as people, and contributing to the flow of information on the Web. And aside from all that, the flipped model just makes sense from a pedagogical standpoint. But don’t take my word for it. Those in the Polson math department who have tried it so far have had great things to say about it.
Plus the fact that 60 Minutes dedicated part of Sunday night’s episode to the flipped classroom model and its godfather, Sal Khan, tells me two things: 1) this is something we all need to pay attention to, and 2) Bill Gates endorsements sure are helpful. The fact that The Khan Academy‘s YouTube channel has over 45 million views so far is also noteworthy. But is this the future of education? As much as I think the flipped model can be a great instructional tool for certain learning concepts, there is plenty to be skeptical about from the 60 Minutes segment below. Like the way Khan’s mission is now expanding to the point where kids walk into a classroom, log into a laptop to pick up where they each left off on the last lesson, and start quietly hammering away at the keyboard while their teacher circulates. Really? This strikes me as kind of sad, and I’m not alone in feeling this way.
But I’m more interested in what you think. See what you may have missed below, and let us know.