Guest Column | March 17, 2015

The ABCs Of Flipped Classrooms: What IT Solutions Providers Need To Know

By Ari Bixhorn, Senior Vice President, Panopto

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Over the last few years, the flipped classroom has rapidly gained popularity among teachers and school administrators. According to recent studies, one in three teachers are considering flipping their classrooms, with one in four school administrators interested in implementing this trend. This shift in pedagogy represents a huge market opportunity for IT solutions providers who will be called upon to help develop processes and implement the technologies that facilitate the flipped classroom for teachers, administrators and students.

What is a flipped classroom and what are its benefits? In flipped classrooms, students review the lecture before class as homework. In-class time is then dedicated to discussions, interactive exercises, and independent work that would have previously been completed at home — all under the guidance of the teacher, who is available to respond to any questions that arise. The materials reviewed prior to class typically take the form of recorded lectures, curated videos, and reading assignments.

A growing number of studies show that the flipped classroom approach can improve student achievement in nearly any subject. According to the Flipped Learning Network, 71 percent of teachers who flipped their classes noticed improved grades, and 80% reported improved student attitudes as a result. What’s more, 99 percent of teachers who flipped their classes reported that they would flip their classes again the following year.

While many educators have already dug into the details of how a flipped classroom is facilitated, far fewer have researched the specific support they’ll need from technology to make the new format work — and that’s where solutions providers come in. There are a number of different flipped classroom models and even more technology options. A knowledgeable provider can help educators sort through the technology landscape to identify and implement the right technologies to meet the customer’s specific goals.

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