With Flipped Classroom, ‘Old School’ No More

by Wendy Roshan / Education News / 28 August 2012

I started teaching in the early 1970’s, when one of the most important resources teachers had was the mimeo machine.  All worksheets and tests had to be handwritten and run through a hand cranked copier, which would turn your hands blue from the ink. There weren’t computers in every classroom, we didn’t use SMART Boards (just chalk) and students came to class carrying pencils and notebooks, not smartphones and tablets.

Yet, 40 years later, my computer, iPad, and trusty iPhone has revolutionized my life as a teacher. Today, there’s more information at my fingertips than ever before, literally. I can type up an assignment and email it to the whole class, or even have tests taken (and instantaneously graded) online.  Students can stay in touch with me, and I can communicate with parents 24/7 by email.  It’s a major change from the past, and has a lot of benefits for my students.

However, the biggest change for me occurred a few years ago when my daughter, Stacey Roshan, decided to follow in my footsteps and become a math teacher too. However, having grown up in a different generation, she became a different kind of teacher. While I continued to resist new technologies that were starting to be used in the classroom, these tools came easily and naturally to her. In 2009, Stacey attended the Building Learning Communities Conference and learned about Camtasia Studio, software that would allow her to literally flip her classroom. She began video recording her lectures, which students watched for homework, and during class she walked around the classroom and worked with students 1-on-1 when they needed help solving problems.

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