A “flipped classroom” is one in which the student uses time at home to basically experience what would have been a lecture in a traditional classroom structure— usually this comes from a video, but it could come from other types of multimedia instruction as well. By having the traditional lecture done outside of class, this frees up class time for other purposes— applying the information that has already been presented.
This infographic explains the concept well.
I think that, as the infographic shows, the videos being limited to 5-7 minutes is what makes this method of teaching more practical than what I had previously imagined. I don’t give “lectures” to middle school kids in French class. I do, however, often spend about 2-5 minutes explaining a grammar concept. Having videos explaining those concepts could be a great way to expose students to the concepts ahead of class, so we are prepared to dive right into applying those concepts to our own work.
My one major concern about depending on a flipped classroom model is the 10% of students who don’t typically do homework, and who especially find online work easy to avoid because they can always claim that the internet wasn’t working at their home (a believable enough situation here in Chennai—- often the internet works fine, but my own home internet has been too slow to allow me to streams videos for some weeks). I like the idea of flipping my classroom, but I’m not sure the time for that is right yet.
I should make or find videos that serve the purpose of allowing students to watch the video at their own pace as many times as needed, but I imagine this as a supplemental tool, and not the only way of presenting that information. I still do find value in presenting key points live in class to my students and am not yet convinced in the value of doing no direct instruction in class. Obviously, the days of the teacher standing in front of his or her class and “lecturing” for a full hour are no more, which is a good thing. I’m also not yet convinced that a 5-minute in-class explanation of a concept is necessarily something that should always be put on a video to watch at home instead.