Making Flipped Classroom Lessons Is Easier Than It Looks

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Making Flipped Classroom Lessons Is Easier Than It Looks

My name is Joel Speranza, and I’m a maths, digital technology and accounting teacher. I’ve been producing video content, including flipped classroom lessons, for use in my classroom for 3 years now. In that time I’ve made approximately 1,000 videos. This means I’ve made about 1 video a day since I started.

I know, that sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it’s really not as difficult as you imagine.

I used to be terrified of making videos. I had no idea how to do it, I was terrified of having my face and my voice on screen. But after one too many students came in saying, “Did I miss anything yesterday?” I decided to gather up my courage and make my first video.

You can watch this video below.

There is so much wrong with this video. The sound is terrible, I can barely look at the camera, the camera keeps losing focus. The whole thing is a mess. You might think it’s a failure. But…

My students loved it! For the first time, they had true control over their own learning. They could pause the video if they were having trouble, or rewind it if they didn’t understand something. As the the final exam approached, students could re-watch the video to help them revise. Parents even got in on the act, learning the content anew and helping their children to learn.

I used to be terrified of making videos. I had no idea how to do it, I was terrified of having my face and my voice on screen.

This total control has only been possible in recent years with class sets of laptops or 1:1 schools. No longer do we need to wheel the TV trolley in and have all our students watching one screen. If students have their own screen, they can learn at their own pace.

Creating Your Own Flipped Lessons

Creating your own flipped lessons is simple. Just point your webcam or mobile phone camera at yourself, press record and start teaching. Upload to ClickView and share with your students. It really is as simple as that.

I’d like to stress now that the quality of your video production or the way that you do it really doesn’t matter. Students just want to learn, and they don’t care how fancy the production values are. I make videos in all sorts of ways. Here’s a little “highlight reel” to give you some ideas.

Here’s what I’m getting at. The video revolution has happened fast, with cheap video cameras, internet fast enough to handle video, easy video uploading and a screen for every student. It has happened so fast that many of us haven’t realised how easy it is to make and share a video to our class.

As teachers, we use all of the tools available to us to create the best learning experience for our students. Now, for the first time ever, making your own video is just another tool that you can use.

Give it a try. The first one is the hardest, after that, the rest is easy.

If you’re keen for a further look, you can view and share my flipped classroom maths videos here: https://clickview.tv/joelsperanza

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2 comments on “Making Flipped Classroom Lessons Is Easier Than It Looks

  1. Hi Joel , Great stuff, I am about to start the flipped classroom for may classes (maths) at Trinity Bay State High School in Cairns. How did you monitor engagement by your classes?

    1. Hi Bjorn, thanks for commenting and great to hear you’re thinking of flipping. I was in Cairns recently and there’s a great community of flippers there, so you’re in good company!

      I suspect your question might actually be two questions. So I’ll break it up and answer both.

      Question 1. What happens if they don’t watch the video at home?
      Answer 1. This is a big question for first time flippers and it was one that definitely worried me when I started. What I found though was that it was a bigger worry in theory than in practise. Students seem to enjoy the video homework more, it’s more achievable, it usually takes less time than traditional homework. In short, generally, they do it.
      I have written at length about this before, you can check it out here if you like. Flipped learning: What if they don’t watch the video?!

      Question 2. What if they just watch the video passively, without actually engaging in it?
      Answer 2. This to me is a more serious concern than the simple question of whether they watch it. We don’t just need them to watch it, we want them to ENGAGE with it.
      One great way to get students to engage with the video is to add interactive elements to the video. ClickView has done a great job of adding this functionality: Video – How to create an interactive video
      More importantly perhaps, it’s important to teach your students HOW to engage with the video. I spend the first week or two every year teaching my students how to watch the videos. First we watch them together in class, on the big screen. I pause it at times I think it’s important, I rewind it, I take exemplar notes so they can see how they should do it. Next lesson they might watch it on their own devices, following similar procedures.
      It isn’t until I feel we understand how to engage with the content properly that I start setting video homework.
      I’ve written a little bit about this too in my little roadmap to your first week of flipping your classroom. Check it out here: First Week of Flip Class

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