Center for Digital Education & Converge: research in education technology for K-12 and higher education

Flipped Institute Teaches Schools How to Flip Their Classes

on March 6, 2013

A principal known for flipping his high school is helping others understand how to make better use of their instructional time through the Flipped Institute.

Greg Green from Clintondale High School in Michigan trained teachers to move instruction outside of class time so that students and teachers could work together on hands-on problems at school. Green worked with digital video company MediaCore to bring the training program into one hub called the Flipped Institute.

The Flipped Institute program includes 30 online lessons, which will be available for 90 days to educators who pay the $99 price to participate. The Institute's website also provides links to no-cost resources from multiple places on how to flip classrooms.

That's been a problem for educators until now, said Stuart Bowness, CEO and co-founder of MediaCore. When he saw Salman Khan's Ted Talk video on the flipped class, he wanted to learn more about it and did a quick Google search.

"I started looking at resources to do the flipped class," Bowness said. "There was a lot of general stuff, a few really terrible YouTube videos on it, and really nobody had kind of pulled it cohesively together in terms of how it works."

Bowness started working with Green on the Flipped Institute so that educators would have sample lesson ideas, a training program and an understanding of the pedagogy behind the flipped classroom. An advisory board is steering the institute, and other partners are participating, including TechSmith, which makes screen capture and recording software.

This Flipped Institute gives educators an easy platform that's built for teachers and their day, Green said. And they'll be able to learn from Clintondale's mistakes and challenges.

For example, Clintondale started out with the TechSmith software Camtasia, which set a steep learning curve for many teachers. By switching to the company's simpler software, Jing, teachers were able to use an easy and familiar technology. That software also has a five minute limit, which helps keep teachers on track in their videos.

Another example involves the 80/20 rule. At Clintondale, the core of flipped learning is built around students actively learning for 80 percent of their time and teachers leading instruction for 20 percent of the time. This instruction happens through short videos a few times a week that students watch outside or inside class, depending on their needs.

By structuring flipped learning around this rule, they were then able to figure out whether they should use technology to help.

"You don't have to use technology to flip your class, but technology offers all kinds of support, it's available 24/7," Green said. "Sometimes you become more effective just with that and also more efficient."

Clintondale has seen major results from its efforts. The failure rate in the school is now 7 percent, the graduation rate jumped by 10 percent up to 90 percent, and 80 percent of students are now attending college, compared to 60 or 65 percent before. Attendance is up to 93 percent as well.

Green said he hopes to pass along what his school has learned about technology, the flipped class and learning through the Flipped Institute.

"Many people buy the device and then figure out the structure on the backside," Green said. "What we did is we figured out the reason why we wanted to use the tech, and then we blend the tech in. That's the success. And I think that's what people can really learn from us is how to set up a blended learning environment so that the reason they use technology is to increase their support for students and also so students can support themselves."


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Tanya Roscorla

Tanya Roscorla covers education technology in the classroom, behind the scenes and on the legislative agenda. Likes: Experimenting in the kitchen, cooking up cool crafts, reading good books.

E-mail: troscorla@centerdigitaled.com
Twitter: twitter.com/reportertanya
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