What’s The Best Technology For Flipped Classrooms?

Flipped classrooms may just be the future of education. Quite simply, they’re a setup where the teacher acts more like an adviser than a lecturer. It lets the students have a more hands-on approach to education.

Since this is Edudemic and we heart technology, we thought it might be helpful to figure out what some of the best technology is for flipped classrooms. A few teachers who are currently using the flipped classroom method were consulted and here’s what they had to say:

Educators record lectures & make them available for review before and reference after class. Class time is spent on applying the concepts to real-world scenarios and applications.

“We have a math teacher who is using Connect to record is lectures and posts them on his web page for students to review the lectures at a later date/time” - Dave Forrester

“One of our accounting professors put his entire ‘Introduction to Accounting’ lecture series on CDROM. Students learn the material by watching the lectures as homework on their own time. In-class time is spent on applying the concepts learned in the lectures through real-world scenarios and other hands-on activities. The digital lectures incorporate variable speed playback which helps the students learn the materials in up to half the normal time of the lecture. The synchronized course materials were created with Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash.  A custom built application organizes the lectures and facilitates the variable speed playback on CDROM. You could conceivably create something similar with Adobe Captivate or Adobe Connect and then use the Enounce Plugin or the VLC Player to play the content at variable speeds. More information about the Account CDs can be found here.” - David Egbert

Engaging students by turning the classroom into a game where members engage in quests to earn experience points while learning to harness powerful tools, techniques and strategies.

This year, Mike Skocko is changing things up by turning his lectures into a game where his students become a game developer – facilitating engagement at previously unimaginable scales, innovating new ways to motivate peers. He is blogging about the quest on his blog.


  1. mathieso

    December 23, 2011 at 10:13 am

    What about the humble textbook? One specifically designed for flipped classes?

    It would be online, of course, for interactivity. Other attributes:

    >>> Outcome-based

    For classes that help students learn specific skills (in math, science, writing, programming, finance…). Content not directly related to those goals is trimmed out.

    >>> Deep learning

    Help students learn skills, not just facts. But there’s only so much time in a semester. So cut down on the concepts in the book. More content on how to use core concepts to do things.

    Watch demonstrations from experts. Watch students trying a task, messing up, finding their mistake, and finally succeeding.

    Help students use design patterns. They’re common solutions that experts use. E.g., navigation bars on Web sites. You see them everywhere, because they solve a common problem.

    >>> Frequent formative feedback

    Students learn skills through practice, practice, and more practice. Many exercises, built into the textbook. Students submit solutions online, and get formative feedback, from humans. Students get completion badges for exercises they finish.

    Exercises are not multiple choice. Exercises require students to create something, fix something, etc. All active.

    BTW, you need a fast feedback workflow for graders. Otherwise, the time requirements are too high.

    >>>Other stuff

    Metacognitive awareness. E.g., what should students do when frustrated?

    Simple writing. Humor. Virtual students who model good student behavior. Searchability.

    Add problem-solving sessions with a human instructor. The total result is a great learning experience. Reading, watching, doing, asking, fixing. It all fits together into a package that helps student learn skills.

    I’ve been working on this since 2007. There are two text-and-software packages at http://coredogs.com. I’ve been using them in classes for a few years. They work well. They’re free for students and instructors – any humans, come to think of it.

    I’m also working on http://flippedtextbook.com, a tool to let others create their own flipped textbooks. Not complete yet.

    For a short story, with perspectives from students and instructors, see http://coredogs.com/article/tale-two-students


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