In most U.S. schools, classrooms look pretty much as they did 100 years ago: one teacher in front of a classroom, teaching the same material to 30 students who are probably at varying levels of readiness. Technology, thoughtfully deployed, can change that, they believe.
By bursts of learning, students have managed to zoom at their own pace to cover the material in their classes, and often reach ahead. Students are able to “blend” the best of online learning (progress at their own pace through subject content) with the best of classroom work (practicing new knowledge with peers and teachers). Some students can shoot ahead rather than waiting for their classmates to catch up. Likewise, some who struggle with a concept get to take the time they need to master it rather than get left behind.
“Most American kids are going to be in an environment that is predominantly digital before the end of the decade,” says Tom Vander Ark, chief executive officer of Getting Smart, an education firm that focuses on innovation and technology. “Most learning resources are digital instead of print…. I think we’ll be able to call most of those environments ‘blended’ in terms of combining online experience with face-to-face instruction.”
Classrooms look pretty much as they did 100 years ago but Technology, thoughtfully deployed, can change that!
Advocates of flipped classrooms say that, when done well, it is as much about the time kids are off-line as the time they’re online, delegating more rote concepts online at home so that teachers can better use class time for small-group discussion, one-on-one check-ins, group projects, or targeted tutoring if students are struggling.
Flipped classroom teacher Tyler Sussman whose school has adopted the flipped classroom observes: “There are other students who would have fallen through the cracks in different schools, coming in with below-grade-level reading and math abilities, and they’re using the personalized learning system to catch up and build a foundation for success.”
Because of the costs to schools and/or users of Blended or Flipped learning systems, Media-X has devised, and will soon be releasing a completely free system which covers the costs of accounts, video transcoding and video streaming. Thus there will be no barriers for teachers to create, deploy, control and track usage of online learning for their classes.