Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flipping the Classroom

So I have talked about how there is potential for teachers to come together, share movie clip ideas, and ultimately bring the wisdom of crowds together to increase relevancy and engagement in the classroom. As I ran this idea by some people, I was asked a thought provoking question: are these video clips only to be shown in class? Or is there another way that teachers can use pop culture clips to bring students' interest and attention to material? This question immediately led me to thinking about flipped classrooms.

Salman Khan's TED talk is probably one of the most influential "documents" we have on the power and impact of flipping the classroom. While there has been some debate about whether Khan and his hugely popular site khanacademy.com is truly a worthy source of good education - it is hard to deny the fact that a movement (or at least a very prominent fad) has resulted in thousands of teachers changing the way they work with students in the classroom.

Katie, and 8th grade teacher, has taken the time to upload many videos about how she is using the concept of flipping the classroom. If the term is new or unfamiliar to you - she explains it pretty well.

So what if teachers not only used clips of movies in their classroom to ignite meaningful discussions or prompts for analysis - but made watching such clips a part of their outside learning? Even better, what if  teachers had students look for their own samples of pop culture in the movies, games, and media they encounter outside of school? 

I may be kicking a dead horse here, but kids want to learn when they see the relevance of what they are learning. When they start to see that what they are learning in school is all around them in their every day life then meaningful connections are made. 

So, what do you think? Can this new trend or learning method - call it what you will - be a strong asset to using pop culture in education? 


  1. I like this idea about flipping the classroom. I feel like it engages the student and makes him a part of the learning process. I think one of the biggest problems in schools is teachers can only cater to the average student. There isn't enough time in the day to individually help the struggling student or to help the brightest students go further.Having a database where teachers could even send students to watch videos that would help them individually would be remarkable.

  2. I really agree that if kids want to learn because it is relevant to life, they will learn much better. I wish I had been taught that way more...like maybe I would love chemistry if I realized that I would use it in my daily life, rather than being forced to memorize endless equations. I think kids nowadays are super attuned to "pop culture" or media, or whatever, and if teachers could find ways to incorporate those things in a meaningful way it would be a really powerful learning tool.