ACSI Vol 17.3 : Page 26

able to develop a develo a mentoring relationship with students and are able to know them more, and thus teachers have a m opport more opportunities to care for them and reach out to th he em in i n their th eir times of need. them the teacher. If you outsource the video, you will be miss-ing out on a point of connection with your students. How Long Should the Videos Be? One of the mistakes we made when we first started flipping our class was making our videos too long. We have subse-quently learned that shorter is better. Only put one topic on each video and teach directly to the point. Also realize that these videos are only going to cover basic information. Save the more difficult cognitive tasks and activities for in class. Our general suggestion is one minute to one and a half minutes per grade level. So, a fourth grader should have videos that are around four to six minutes long. Common Questions We W e h have av a ve p pres presented the flipped classroom to many educa-tors around t dt the world, and a few common questions continue to be asked. What if the Student Doesn’t Watch the Video? We know that not all students do their homework. If you implement a flipped classroom, this will not change. So what do you do with students who have not viewed and interacted with the video content? First of all, hold each student individually accountable for watching each video. We expected students to show us that they had watched the video, and we required students to take notes on the videos. To determine whether students viewed the mate-rial, we simply checked their notes the next day. Other teachers take a more technologically oriented approach to monitoring viewership by embedding questions into or alongside the video on a Web page. If students were not able to prove that they had interacted with the material, students would be sent to one of a couple of old computers in the back of the room where they watched the video while the rest of the class was receiving indi-vidualized attention and assistance or was engaged in the extension and application of the content. We found that students quickly recognized that it was more beneficial to watch the video than to not. This method did not get all students to do the homework, but we did observe more students completing the video assignment than the traditional work we sent home in a traditional classroom. Can This Be Done on a Budget? When we first started flipping our classes in 2007, we did it for around $50. We spent that money on some software and used computers that we already had. We taught at a rural school in the mountains of Colorado, and our school struggled financially, so we didn’t have a lot of resources. Today there are free or inexpensive programs such as Screencast-O-Matic, Jing, and Snagit, which are easy-to-use programs to create the instructional videos. If you have an iPad, we like the apps Explain Everything, Doceri, and Educreations. All of these content-creation programs allow the video to be placed online and be viewed from any Internet-enabled device. A flipped class-room does not require expensive equipment, nor does it require each student to have a school-issued computer or device. In fact, most students probably already have the appropriate technology in their pocket or backpack in the form of a smartphone, iPod, or tablet. Students who don’t have one of these devices can easily access content at their local library, school library, or other public venue. Will It Increase Student Screen Time? One concern we have heard from teachers and parents is that we will be increasing student screen time. Some argue that students are spending too much time in front of a screen engaging in unproductive, and sometimes damag-ing, activities. Will the flipped classroom contribute to this problem? Though we don’t have hard evidence, we have asked a number of students this very question. Students have told us that watching the video content actually is replacing screen time that they would have used doing other less meaningful activities online. They also tell us that the flipped classroom saves them time because they are not stuck on their homework at home throwing up their Who Should Make the Videos? When we started flipping our classes in 2007, there wasn’t a lot of quality video content on the Internet, so we made all of our own videos. In our chemistry classes, we created about 100 instructional videos for our students. But today, there are many videos out there made by great teachers. Should you use others’ videos? Though it seems easier, we think it is best practice if teachers create their own videos. We say this because we believe that one key element to good teaching is the relationship between the student and 26 2013/2014 . cse Volume 17 Number 3 . The Flipped Classroom

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