Blog #1

Tom Sciacca: Technology can cut school costs



Tom Sciacca writes about a new teaching style that has been growing in the United States. The concept is called “flipping the classroom” and the basic premise is that what usually happens in a classroom becomes homework and homework is done in class. In other words, students take lectures home, or access lectures online, and watch them outside of class. In class the students do homework assignments and projects, while a teacher can either aid groups or work one on one with a student.

Teachers record lectures ahead of time and place them online. This allows teachers to lecture once and teach multiple classes. Students are also able to then pause a lecture at any point to catch up on notes or go back and watch a part a second time that they may have zoned out or not understood the first time. Some versions of software allow the teachers to place questions in the middle of the lecture to test how much the students understand. The teacher can monitor who struggled with which parts of the lecture and what parts need to be covered in class.

Q1: What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I agree that this a good use of technology in the classroom. It works for any kid no matter his/her home life. I’ve talked with a teacher at my church who flips his classroom. Classroom flipping was developed to help schools in poorer neighborhoods, where the parents work or don’t have a high enough education to help their kids with homework. When the classroom is flipped, parents only have to plop their child in front of the television or computer and let them watch a video. I’ve also heard that students are much more willing to watch several videos than do homework, so teachers will get a lot more student participation. This shift in teaching style benefits both teachers and students.

Q2: How will the issue help or hinder your teaching practice? Why?

This will greatly help my teaching practice because it will ease reaching more kids during classroom time. I don’t have to “teach” in the traditional sense, so, like the example in the article, I can sit one on one with a student who is struggling while the other students are still learning. This new teaching style will also allow science classes to do more hands on labs, so students can truly see the application of the lessons.