The modern times require from us – teachers to be modern. The new technology requires from us – teachers to have new skills. Undoubtedly, technology affects the learning process and the students’ expectations for learning. It transforms us into teachers-as-students. That’s why we must be flexible and adaptable, inquisitive and dynamic, willing to learn, confident and tolerant, interactive and good team players, having an empowering nature and global mindset. Some teachers use the traditional PPP (Presentation, Practice, Production) approach while others turn to more learner-centered approaches like Project Based Learning (PBL) and Collaborative learning. Among the 21st century approaches stands out “Flipped classroom” which is a modern approach of teaching, also known as “inverting the classroom”. It is a kind of blended learning that transfers the homework before the classroom activities and allows children to learn with their own pace. In a traditional classroom, the new content is described by the teacher during the lesson. In a flipped classroom, teachers prepare videos to present the new content before the lesson. Students watch the videos at home and interact with the content in order to give feedback to the teacher. When they come to school, they are already familiar with the new content. Students have time for discussions and practical activities, for exercising what they have learnt at home. In other words, in the flipped classroom mode, what teachers usually do at school (present the new content), is done by students at home and what children usually do at home (do exercises on the content), they do at school.
Brief history of “Flipped classroom” approach
In 2004, Bergman and Sams began teaching Science at Woodland Park High School, Colorado, United States.Their students involved in sports or other activities missed a lot of class time. The educators asked themselves how they could get class material to these students and others who were out sick. Bergman and Sams discovered a solution in a technology magazine: software that could record a PowerPoint slide show with voice and notes. The resulting video file could be easily shared. In the spring of 2007, they began recording all their lectures and turned them into video presentations. They called the technique “pre-broadcasting”. Students would view the presentation before school. In class, they would discuss it, experiment with the material and receive assistance from their teachers. Bergman and Sams have not invented the method. They were influenced by Lage, Platt and Treglia – a team of three educators , who in 2000, presented their research on flipped classroom at the college level in the book called “Inverting the classroom”. Before that, in the 1990s, Harvard physicist Eric Mazur developed “peer instruction”. Through this approach students learn from their classmates instead of listening to the teacher’s lecture. The flipped classroom theory gets a boost with the emergence of free lecture sites such as Khan Academy. It first started in 2006, when Salman Khan, developed educational website from the remote tutorials for his cousin in Lousiana. Now Khan Academy provides a free, world-class education for enyone, anywhere. In 2016, Bergmann and Sams launched the The Flipped Learning Global Initiative, led by Errol St.Clair Smith
Information by:Galina Stoycheva