- What is the origin of flipped learning?
- Flipped learning in practice
- What are the benefits of flipped learning?
- What are the drawbacks of flipped learning?
- Flipped learning and digital learning
- How can you help your child with flipped learning?
The structure of the school day hasn’t changed much since your own elementary school days. Students still spend their time in the classroom listening to lessons and go home to practice what they’ve learned. 📚
What’s the flipped learning definition? As the name suggests, flipped learning “flips” this traditional idea of learning on its head. In flipped learning, students spend their time at home learning the subject material. Then, in the classroom, they apply what they’ve learned in practical activities, receiving feedback. So, instead of following a teacher’s prepared lesson in the classroom and then practicing the materials with homework, they do the reverse– learn the lessons at home, and practice what they’ve learned in school. 📓
Flipped learning is a relatively new approach to teaching. What are its benefits, and how can it help your child learn? We’re here to explain it all.
What is the origin of flipped learning?
Flipped learning was pioneered by two American high school science teachers, Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams. In the late 2000s, the pair began to pre-record their classroom lectures, and give them to students in advance so they would come to class already prepared to apply the ideas. What started as a humble new approach to teaching quickly grew, eventually leading to the Flipped Learning Network, a community for educators to share resources and experiences related to flipped learning.
Flipped learning in practice
The meaning of flipped learning is fairly straightforward, and many more teachers worldwide have begun to adopt this approach to teaching. How, though, does it impact students?
What are the benefits of flipped learning?
The flipped learning model has many benefits. Advocates for this kind of learning stress that it allows students to have more personalized attention and feedback from their teachers in the classroom.
Have you ever watched your kid become frustrated over a homework assignment because they don’t understand the material? With flipped learning, this problem is alleviated. Students do their “homework” in the classroom, meaning their teachers are there to give real-time support and feedback. This makes things less stressful for mom and dad too– you no longer have to rack your brain to try to remember your own school lessons to help your child! 🤔
Additionally, the flipped learning model encourages students to be more inquisitive. Instead of passively listening to a lesson, being in a flipped class means students are more active participants in their learning. This encourages kids to think more about what they are learning, giving them the opportunity to ask more questions and become more involved.
Learning actively like this also makes it more likely that students will retain the information they are being taught. A flipped class is much more engaging, and your child is way less likely to get bored and zone out! 💭
Furthermore, flipped learning allows students to learn from one another. By working on projects and assignments in the classroom with their peers, kids can collaborate in a way not usually available when doing traditional homework.
Conversely, flipped learning also encourages independent learning in a positive way. Students are given materials to study at home, so they can adopt a learning method that works best for them, rather than having to follow whatever the teacher does in the classroom.
Whether your child retains information better through learning it visually, auditorily, or simply just reading a book, flipped learning allows them to take control of their learning and retain the information in a way that works best for them. Similarly, gifted students don’t have to sit idly in class while their peers catch up, and students who are struggling can dedicate the time they need to better understand the material.
There’s another great benefit to flipped learning, too. Kids who are absent from school are less likely to fall behind, as lessons are designed to be studied at home anyway. For students who have disabilities or illnesses that may frequently take them out of the classroom, flipped learning helps them stay more on track with the rest of their classmates.
What are the drawbacks of flipped learning?
Flipped learning’s countless benefits have made it a popular choice among teachers seeking a new method of helping their students. However, it isn’t a flawless approach, and there are indeed some drawbacks.
For one, it forces kids to take a great amount of accountability for their own learning. Learning responsibility is great, but as any parent knows, getting a child to prioritize schoolwork can be a challenge! Older students may feel they can “skip the reading” and still be prepared for classwork, only to discover that their slacking off leads to lower marks in the classroom.
Even if your child does study as expected of them, if their peers aren’t quite as dedicated, they’ll still lose out on the benefits of a robust class discussion. Additionally, for younger students who don’t have any time management skills, flipped learning can put a great deal of pressure on parents and caregivers to ensure their student studies and understands the material.
Flipped learning online can also be detrimental for children from less-privileged homes, deepening the digital divide. Learning at home usually requires internet access and a computer, some things that many families lack. Even for homes that do have adequate WiFi, many families don’t have the financial resources to ensure each child has their own personal computer, tablet, or phone to engage in learning.
Accessibility issues are only worsened for neurodivergent children as any in-school accommodations aren’t always available at home, making learning harder for students facing these unique barriers to learning. For families with circumstances that require parents and guardians to work rather than stay home and help kids with school work, flipped learning can be a real struggle. As with all aspects of education, poorer students often face significant challenges and are at risk of falling behind.
Flipped learning and digital learning
As any student, parent, and educator knows, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed how kids learn. With the lines between schoolwork and homework blurred, many aspects of flipped learning became commonplace.
When schools were mandating e-learning during the pandemic, teachers often turned lessons into presentations and videos for students to review at home, just as is done in flipped learning. This kind of digital learning was beneficial to some students, including those with parents at home to guide them through their studies, and students who work well with limited supervision and flexible boundaries. However, many students (and parents) struggled greatly.
Digital learning, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, drastically increases the amount of screen time had by students. With flipped learning online, students spend significant time in front of the computer, too. This can be detrimental to their vision and sleep, as well as cause problems with focus and mental energy levels.
However, screen time is largely inevitable in this day and age, and as your child matures and enters the workforce, it’s likely they will continue to spend many of their waking hours in front of a computer. Rather than trying to erase the progress of technology, there are ways you can mitigate the effects of screen time on your child.
Adjust the settings on your computer to lower the amount of blue light in the display, or invest in blue light glasses for your child. Be diligent with limiting non-school-related screentime, too, and encourage leisure activities that don’t involve a screen, such as creative play or getting involved in sports. Digital learning is a great benefit of modern technologies and is what allows flipped learning to be such a worthwhile option. 💻
How can you help your child with flipped learning?
If your child is accustomed to one way of learning, any change is bound to involve some growing pains. Moving from a traditional classroom structure to flipped learning can be difficult, but there are ways to make it easier for your child.
As the flipped learning model requires kids to take responsibility for learning material, you can help by teaching your child better time management techniques. Create a routine where your child does their studying at the same time every single day, in a place designated for studying. This structure can help kids feel more motivated and can also ensure they dedicate adequate time to their learning.
However, don’t be too rigid with their methods. If your child struggles to sit still, allow them to play with a simple toy while watching a pre-recorded lesson, or allow them to use wireless earphones and walk around the house while they listen to their teachers. If your child is a visual learner, give them special paper or colored markers to use for notetaking. Work with your child to help them find a way of studying that is enjoyable and also helps them learn most efficiently.
If you have the time and bandwidth yourself, why not learn alongside your child? If your child has video lessons, watching them together can be a great bonding opportunity as well as a chance for you to get a better insight into what they are learning in school.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers if you worry they're struggling with flipped learning. Their teachers undoubtedly recognize that this different kind of learning can pose challenges for students, and are likely more than willing to help in any way they can.
More than anything though, be patient with your child as they get accustomed to a new style of learning. Flipped learning has its benefits and its drawbacks, but this unconventional method of learning might help your child succeed.
However, if your child is really struggling in school, there’s never any shame in asking for more help. GoStudent is the #1 rated online school and has world-class tutors to help your child reach all their academic goals. Sign up for your free trial session today, and see just how GoStudent can help your child thrive.