Throughout this blog, we have always looked at the application of mobile devices in learning. I, for one, have always had the belief that mobile devices can be used to help student achieve in their learning because of the flexibility and access to content and collaboration tools that mobile devices allow. I have always discussed the flexibility of digital devices as it related to both the consumption and production of content by both teachers and students. Never had I, until now, considered the flexibility of using mobile devices within various learning models beyond discussions of applications in both online and face-to-face learning environments. In the post, we will consider the use of mobile devices within the Flipped Classroom method.
As I myself am currently learning about and thinking about the concept of the Flipped Classroom, it would be prudent to look elsewhere for a more definitive definition of the Flipped Classroom. This link will take you to an infographic on the subject and this link will take you to a more detailed description. For the purposes of this blog post, a simple description will do so simply put, a flipped classroom is a classroom where the instructional time and student activity time are reversed. In a typical classroom delivery model, the teacher delivers a lesson or instruction together with the students in their class and provides activities for students to practice their new skills after the lesson and/or for homework. In the Flipped Classroom model, the sequence is flipped. Teachers record their lesson or lecture and post their recording online for students to access for homework. As the student works through a video in their own time and in their own space, they can pause to think about what the teacher discussed, to take notes, or can replay a section they did not understand. Also, as the instruction is recorded, students can go back anytime and replay video if they are I need of review. Then, class time is dedicated for students to practice their newly acquired skills with classmates and in the presence of their teacher who can observe their understanding or be available to answer questions or address difficulties. The idea here is to free the teacher to spend more time working directly with students.
In essence, the Flipped Classroom is a model inspired by, and made possible by, technology. It is one where technology helps to facilitate the instruction in order to free up time for student interaction with other students and with their teacher during the limited time they are together in their classroom. It appears to me that this model attempts to combine the best that elearning and face-to-face learning have to offer. In today’s world of ubiquitous access to the Internet, mobile devices can play an important role as educators experiment with this new model of lesson delivery. The strength of mobile devices is in it’s ability to offer users flexibility in access to content and in the Flipped Classroom model, mobile devices can provide students with access to both instructional content and to their teacher’s recorded lesson from wherever their are (assuming access to the Internet via a cellular data plan – or otherwise, through any available WiFi access point). Be it a video recording or audio recording, students can use their mobile devices effectively to access instructional content in a Flipped Classroom setting. Students are not tied to the physical restraints of the classroom or time constraints of the school day and can use their mobile devices to connect with friends to discuss the material and gain a better understanding of the material before engaging in the practice activities in class the next day.
As a result, as educators continue to experiment with new and interesting ways to leverage technology to help their student learn, mobile devices continue to offer an effective platform for teachers and students allowing easy access to content, or in this case, access to lessons, that is available anytime and from anywhere.