The Flipped classroom – what is it?

I recently had a conversation with a principal at one of our neighbouring high schools. We were talking about the flipped class room and I expressed my regret that so few teachers had taken the time to visit our conference last year to hear more about it. Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergman did a keynote, had an additional session and did a workshop the day after.  As always when talking about using technology in school, I have to say that I am concerned about how Norwegian school-owners, school leaders and teachers seem to be absent from the conversations going on in social media like Twitter and blog writing.  It was on Twitter I first was made aware of the Flipped classroom, and also how I got to meet Aaron and Jonathan in person at ISTE Philidelphia in 2012. For those who did not attend our conference last year, the misconception about what the flipped classroom really is, looks a lot like what I found at “November learning” via Twitter!

  1. Students 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 with their peers. This is just a lot of excitement over bad pedagogy. (apparently there is a really bad video made by a teacher from a school nearby that is used to show how bad this can be!)
  2. Where is the accountability? How do I even know if students are watching the videos?
  3. As a teacher, I don’t have the time or the expertise to produce all of the videos required to teach like this

Seems to me when discussing pedagogy, content and technology, we tend to focus on difficulties and not possibilities! Let’s start thinking about teaching and learning as fun!  November learning uses the expression Flipped Learning and it is so much more then making videos for students to watch. Forget about the technology for a while. Focus on the learning and the research and how you are interacting with your students in class. Don’t spend it lecturing!

What flipped learning is all about:

  • Students prepare for class by watching video, listening to podcasts, reading articles, or contemplating questions that access their prior knowledge.
  • After accessing this content, students are asked to reflect upon what they have learned and organize questions and areas of confusion.
  • Students then log in to a Facebook-like social tool, where they post their questions.
  • The instructor sorts through these questions prior to class, organizes them, and develops class material and scenarios that address the various areas of confusion. The instructor does not prepare to teach material that the class already understands.
  • In class, the instructor uses a Socratic method of teaching, where questions and problems are posed and students work together to answer the questions or solve the problems. The role of the instructor is to listen to conversations and engage with individuals and groups as needed

Points over are copied from November learning. I attended Alan Novembers workshop at ISTE and follow his work online.


  1. Well said. We need to focus on the possibilities rather than the limitations.

    I wrote a post on how the current definition of “flipped classroom” is, in itself, limiting. When we discuss flipped lessons rather than fully flipped classrooms, we allow the pedagogy of the flipped classroom to be one of many instructional tools (

    …and a very powerful tool :).

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