Flipping the Classroom

Right now flipping the classroom is a very popular trend, but it can seem very overwhelming to teachers who’ve never done anything like this. Below is an example of how a classroom can be flipped and you might find that it’s not as daunting as it seems. For this flip, the classroom I have in mind will be part of a middle school in an urban environment. They have a lower socioeconomic status, but they have outside resources available to them. The school is also transitioning to one-to-one iPads.

There are several management systems that can make this transition easier. First, if your school already has a management system that will probably continue to work when you flip your classroom. One learning management system (LMS) I will go over briefly is My Big Campus. My Big Campus has a lot of great feature and is very user friendly even for younger grades.

  1. It’s similar to Facebook. The activities page, profile, and groups work similar to Facebook so students would already be familiar with the features and how to navigate them
  2. There are plenty of educational resources as well. On My Big Campus there is a where you can access videos and websites. It works very similar to Google but it’s filtered to be school appropriate. There is also a drive for cloud storage which allows you to open documents and edit them from any computer or mobile device. You can also share them with others. You can upload assignments, grade, and share quizzes and tests online.
  3. You can keep everyone on the same page. There is a messaging feature where you can send messages to your students. You can also create a class calendar and share it with students and parents to make sure everyone know about important due dates and deadlines. There is also a reporting feature so you know what your students have on their profile and what they’ve been looking up.

The second management system I will be sharing is Piazza. This is system can be integrated with any LMS, is easy to set up, and is free! It allows for class collaboration on answering questions and responding to posts. When students respond to answers, the teacher can go through and endorse the answer so other students know the information is accurate. Teachers can also create polls and use them for formative assessment. Students also have the ability to post anonymously so students won’t have to feel self-conscious about what they’re saying which will hopefully increase student participation.

Figuring out how to use both of these systems may seem complicated and like too much work, but I think they could be integrated pretty seamlessly. To start, I would set up My Big Campus and get assignments uploaded there. This way students would get use to using a LMS and the transition to a flipped classroom would have already started. After introducing how to complete assignments, I would create groups next. This would get the students to start communicating online and collaborating with one another. The final step would be to add Piazza. This would become where the students are fully integrated into the flipped classroom and completing assignments and collaborating with each other online. With this plan, flipping your classroom would be natural for the students and less stressful for the teacher. The integration and steps would happen naturally and it wouldn’t feel as overwhelming.

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