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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • DAN DECKER: Learning in the 'flipped classroom'

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  • Good morning Neosho! The warm temperatures we have had the past few days have been a nice reprieve from the cold temperatures we had a week ago. Only in Missouri can you go from coats and jackets one week back to shorts the next. It has felt more like March than November this week.
    This week I am going to share some insight into one of the newest techniques in education, Flipped Learning. While this is not a brand new concept it hasn't been around very long and it has not been widely used to this point.
    However, with that said, it is a concept that is becoming more widely used with phenomenal outcomes for students.
    Flipped learning is becoming one of the hottest things in education. The idea that through the use of technology we can push learning outside of the walls of the school is far reaching for some. This type of learning creates room and time for deeper more personalized instruction within the walls. The idea of the Flipped Classroom is that students get instruction from the teacher through the use of technology at night when they are home, and during class time they are busy doing hands on application of the material they learned under the watchful eye of the teacher. This concept is foreign to the way most of us learned when we were in school. When I was in school the teacher was the holder of the knowledge, they stood at the front of the room and delivered the information to the students. The students were then assigned homework to take home and do, many times students would have issues with the work and had to rely on parents who hadn't had the subject for many years to remember and help. Unfortunately, this model many times leads to student and parent frustration and many times ends with the student not completing the work, which results in a poor grade.
    With Flipped Learning, the students are now viewing the information and material at night or on their own time and utilizing the expertise of the teacher when doing the work. This concept allows teachers to use class time to do more individualized instruction, labs and projects to promote and motivate deeper learning. This method takes the teacher from being the "sage on the stage" to the "guide on the side." This takes the teacher from being the owner of the knowledge to the facilitator of inquisitive students who are in charge of their own learning.
    Does flipping the classroom work? Initial studies of 140 incoming high school freshmen show an increase in standardized test scores and attendance along with a decrease in disciplinary problems by 66 percent. Another study of 463 educators showed 67 percent reporting improved test scores. Jonathan Bergmann, one of the pioneers of the Flipped Classroom, attributes the success to four main pillars: a flexible learning environment, a revamped learning culture in the classroom, intentional content, and professional educators. "This concept leverages old ideas in new ways, it allows technology to make things more inventive and reach different students in different ways." Flipping the Classroom is not the answer, but it's a way to answers.
    Page 2 of 2 - I am excited as we move ahead in education; this is one of the most exciting times I have been a part of. As a profession we are truly focusing in on the individualization of each student which is what we must do to live out our
    mission to "inspire high academic achievement and maximize personal potential in all students." Have a great week!
    Dan Decker is superintendent of the Neosho R-5 School District.

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