Flipping Out

Making the Most of Classroom Time

Let's Begin

In small groups (3-5) discuss the following questions and be prepared to report out to the entire group:

  1. What is one idea that you have heard today that you can take back and implement immediately?
  2. What is one idea that you have heard today that you would like to use but you will need to learn more about/think through/plan before implementing?

What is Flipped Learning?

Flipped Learning Defined

Flipped Learning occurs when direct instruction is moved from the group teaching space to the individual learning environment. Class time is then used for higher order, active problem solving by students and one-to-one or small group interactions with the teacher. -The Flipped Learning Network

What Can Be Flipped?

Why are Teacher's Flipping?

  • Increases student engagement
  • Offers differentiated instruction
  • Gives students time to digest information, watching it as many times as needed
  • Provides opportunities for teachers to meet with students one-on-one
  • Increases opportunity for higher-order thinking skills
  • Fosters 21st Century learning environments
  • Increases contact time with students
  • Increases student responsibility and buy-in
  • Maximizes learning opportunities even when student/teacher is absent
  • The method blends direct instruction and constructivist learning
  • Passive listeners become active learners (no where to hide)
  • Easier to make real-life connections to content
  • Forces teachers into the role of the "guide"
  • Increases hands-on learning time
  • Anytime tutoring
  • Increase parental involvement opportunities

The Other Side of the Flip

Alan November offers Responses to 5 Common Criticisms of the Flipped Method:

  1. "Implementing the Flipped Learning method makes me, as the teacher, much less important." In a flipped environment, teachers actually become more important. Classroom time becomes more valuable as teachers must create higher-level thinking and content-rich activities that provide links for students to real-world situations and 21st century skills necessary to compete globally. Teachers will also need to be prepared to individualize instruction to help students work on numerous skills to be successful with the content.
  2. "Kids do not want to sit at home watching boring video lectures on the Web. At least in the classroom, they get some kind of interaction with me and their peers." Flipped learning doesn't HAVE to be all videos, and they don't have to be all created personally by teacher. Using various types of videos and activities, teachers can allow students to develop the concept that will be practiced during class time. Any videos that are produced or assigned should be short.
  3. "Most of my kids do not even have internet access at home. There's no way they can watch all of these videos." Schools and teachers need to provide opportunities for students to be able to get the content they need if internet access is a problem (see "Flipped with No Access" section for suggestions).
  4. "Where is the accountability? How do I even know if kids are watching the videos?" This is no different than the issue of students completing traditional homework. However, students need to be held accountable for preparing for class. Some ways include requiring students to take notes on the video (can be checked in class), providing questions, or having them write a response to the video (see "Accountability" section below for additional suggestions).
  5. "As a teacher, I don't have the time or the expertise to produce all of the videos required to teach like this." Every teacher does not have to create their own videos. Utilize Youtube or Khan Academy videos, or share videos with your colleagues or department. The point of the video is to teach the concept in an entertaining, yet informative way. It doesn't necessarily matter who created the video (although there are some positives for the classroom teacher to create their own - use of ideas/hints/vernacular used in class; videos can be more tailored to meet the needs of the students, etc...)

Flipped With No Access

Many students do not have internet access from home. This does not mean that you, as a teacher, cannot flip your classroom. First of all, you must think creatively to solve the issues that keep your students from viewing online resources. Here are some suggestions:

  • Alternate class time between teacher-led groups and videos. Students who watched the videos at home could begin with a teacher-led activity while the students who were not able to watch could view the videos using the classroom computers.
  • Allow students to bring a jump drive that you load the video on for them to watch at home.
  • Burn your videos to DVD for students to check-out.
  • Provide ample opportunities at school for students to watch the videos. For instance, allow them to come to your room before school, after school, during lunch, or during homeroom to watch videos.
  • Partner with the Librarian to ensure that students can watch videos on library computers.
  • Assign only 2-3 videos per week and have a range of time to have them viewed. For example, assign them on Monday to be watched by Friday.
  • Ask parents, teachers, and community for used Smart phones or iPods. Convert videos to mp4 format put on phones that can be checked out for the night.
  • Utilize other materials other than just videos. Use reading materials, exploratory activities, fact-finding missions, observations, questions to ponder, opinion essays, interviews, games, activity that "uncovers" a concept and then follows up with an explanation video, etc...
  • Cloud-based programs, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and the Box, have off-line viewing capabilities. Share your videos using one of these methods and have students open them on devices that can be checked out for the night prior to leaving school.

What Could You With More Class Time?

  • Project-/Problem-/Inquiry-based learning
  • Experiments
  • Hands-on explorations
  • Station activities
  • In-depth study
  • Application of concepts
  • Real-world connections
  • One-on-one instruction
  • Tutoring stations for difficult concepts
  • Student interviews
  • Authentic assessments
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Whole class discussions
  • Students learning to be: Mathematician/Historian/Scientist/Writer
  • More personalized assessment of each students' knowledge

How do I Flip My Class?

  • Begin small. Introduce the concept to students first by creating video stations in class where students can practice what you expect of them.
  • Search for resources that will have the most impact on you and your students
  • Identify key concepts that can be flipped. You may want to begin creating "FAQ" videos that cover some of the most misunderstood concepts with which your students struggle.
  • For discipline assistance, flip classroom procedures or expectations. Students who struggle with these can be assigned to re-watch them as a disciplinary step.
  • Don't make videos of lectures. Keep it short and to the point. You want students to want to watch the videos as many times as necessary to get the content down.
  • Utilize drawings, props, visual aids, different sound effects, etc... Anything that assists in mastering the content.
  • Be entertaining. Learning is fun!
  • Smile during your video, even if you are not on camera. You can tell when someone is happy even by their voice. If you are bored, the kids will be bored.
  • Use a variety of methods to flip your classroom. Videos, readings, activities, TED Ed Flips.
  • Use the tool that best reflects the content you are teaching. If you need to write, use a whiteboard tool. If you are telling a story, use a digital storytelling or puppet app.
  • Have fun and be creative!


Holding students accountable for preparing material prior to class is just as difficult as making sure they do their homework in a traditional setting. Teachers must get creative in holding students responsible for watching videos/participating in activities that are assigned. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Watch-Summarize-Question Protocol by Crystal Kirch
  • Use Google Forms, embed the video and include questions.
  • Require students to write a response to the video.
  • Group students and have them interview each other about the content that they watched.
  • Conduct a class discussion
  • Create a note-taking sheet that can be checked at the beginning of class
  • Start class with application problems
  • Use the Flip on Ted-Ed to quiz students about the video they watched.
  • In the video, give students a couple of problems to solve or questions to answer.
  • 3-2-1 Strategy (3 key ideas, 2 things you learned, 1 question you still have)

Resources for Flipping

  1. Ted-Ed Flips - Take any video from online and create questions and resources for students to explore more. Teachers are able to build their own questions or use questions that other teachers have created. You can even take a video that has been "flipped" and change a few or all of the questions to meet your needs.
  2. YouTube - already created videos from other teachers.
  3. Khan Academy - Math, science, humanities, and economics & finance videos.
  4. Knowmia - tools to create your own video lessons as well as over 19,000 already created videos covering all subject areas.
  5. Teacher Tube - teacher curated videos for all subject areas.
  6. Swivl - robotic cameraman for iPhone ($199) follows wireless microphone as it moves around the room.
  7. Swivl Second Generation - COMING IN EARLY 2014. Robotic cameraman for iPad follows wireless microphone as it moves around the room.

Creating Your Own Lessons On the Computer

  1. Screencast-0-matic - adjust what part of the screen you want to record and begin. It's that simple! 15 minutes of recording time for free. Publish to YouTube or mp4.
  2. Screenr - Free screencast tool. Videos upload to screenr.com and plays on all devices, including Smartphones.
  3. Mozilla Popcorn Maker - allows you to take already created video, audio, and web links and mash them together to create something new. Web Native Storytelling is an example.

Creating Your Own Lessons on A Tablet

  1. Move & Match - ($1.99) make mix and match-type activities.
  2. ScreenChomp - (Free) whiteboard app. Posts to Screenchomp.com
  3. ShowMe - (Free) whiteboard app. Upload to ShowMe Community. No limit to length or number of videos.
  4. 30 Hands - (Free) digital storytelling app that allows you to create stories or presentations based on photos, images or slides
  5. Ask3 - (Free) collaborative whiteboard app. Allows users to work together and discuss video.
  6. Educreations - (Free) whiteboard app. Share your videos on the educreations.com or via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
  7. Explain Everything - ($2.99) whiteboard app. Import photos or videos from PDF, PPT, DOC, XLS, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and RTF files from Evernote, Dropbox, Box, GDrive, WebDAV, Email, iTunes, and any app that allows you to open these files types using "Open In…". Export MP4 movies, PDF documents, PNG images, or XPL project files directly from your iPad.
  8. Teach - lesson plan and recording tool. Must have a free account with Knowmia to use.

Sample Lesson Plans

Additional Resources

Questions, Comments

Contact Me!

Mark Montgomery
Instructional Technologist
Harts Bluff Independent School District
Mt. Pleasant, TX 75455
Follow me on Twitter: @mmontgomery3

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