Working with the Internal Flipped Classroom

In middle and high school, I remember saying how much school was while I had play stations from Kindergarten through second grade. Of course, standards changed, and students in all grades work in different types of stations. Elementary teacher, Erin Klein, has found a solution for teachers who want to use the flipped classroom even if their students lack Internet access in her article “How to Set Up Digital Workstations.”

Klein analyzes, summarizes, and describes the technology and strategies she uses in her flipped classroom workstations. Since she does not want to push students’ parents to let their children borrow technology, or some students may not have any access, Klein says she uses “internal flipping” in which students spend fifteen minutes in one workstation before rotating to the next (para. 2). Students watch a fifteen minute lesson made by Klein on educreations with her handwriting on the Whiteboard or work in small groups. According to Klein, she cannot add time to class, but she can divide time between teaching and facilitating small groups with the work stations.

With the internal flipping concept, Klein uses more than one gadget. Students listened to tape recorders that are in “perfect condition” before switching to a different station with Livescribe (para. 10, 11). This tool lets you record a lecture and write important notes. When you tap on the special paper, the Livescribe recorder will jump to that particular point. (The College of Education ITC has Livescribes if you would like to experiment.) It is a great tool for students who struggle with memory barriers. Students may not remember a teacher’s exact words, and the Livescribe helps them to remember through hearing or tapping on a note.

Klein’s article is a significant example for teachers at any level because she still incorporates flipped learning through workstations. This can be done at the middle and high school level while also using different technology, new or old. Students can watch or listen to a lecture on a recorder or iPad. In another station, the teacher facilitates group learning. In a third workstation, a group experiments with a project. Students in the last section work individually, and they can still ask the teacher questions while they work in a small group. This model keeps with the fifteen minute flipped segment and still allows for personalized help from the teacher.

I also like Klein’s model because she incorporates collaboration early in students’ education. She prepares them for a future of peer review. If more classes practice internal flipping, it might strengthen peer review because students learn how to interact with each other using a variety of technology. Klein encourages collaboration even more in her iPad section. She uses a Max HandStand for the iPad. It holds the iPad and it will turn. Students can easily see the screen at the same time without worrying about breaking it because it is secure in the Max HandStand (Klein para. 14). In this instance, students work together sharing content.

Klein’s article is worth reading because she provides a lot of examples, strategies, and content she uses with her elementary classes. Her workstations’ ideas are adaptable for middle, high school, and even college. I would use them in a hybrid or class in which students learn about how to interact with each other and technology. The most significant aspect of Klein’s article is that she provides a potential solution for teachers worried about students’ access to technology or teachers who have limited resources.

Bibliography

Klein, Erin. “How to Set Up Digital Workstations.” Scholastic. Scholastic, 3 Dec. 2013. Web. 27 July 2014.

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4 Comments

  1. Interesting idea! Did she happen to mention whether or not she has an assistant who helps her monitor those flipped lessons while she works with the rest of the class? The reason I ask is that our math courses where I work is using a similar model right now, and they are trying to find the right fit for assistants (students, teachers, or people hired just for that purpose).

  2. I’ve been seriously entertaining the idea of doing “work stations” with a flipped classroom. I especially think this would work will with my inclusion classes because I have a special ed teacher with me. I think Krista is right in that it might be best to have an aid or an assistant with you to help monitor the class. Lots of my students benefit from small groups, I think showing a low-key flipped lesson and then moving on to guided work is a fantastic model for differentiating instruction. Thanks for sharing!

    • You’re welcome, Kelly! Thank you for your comment! I agree that a teacher assistant would work better with this form of a flipped classroom because you have a monitor in place. I have worked as a sub in elementary schools where students went to work stations for math or reading, and switched every 15 minutes. These stations did not have the flipped element, but I was familiar enough with the concept to see how it could work. I think it could be adapted for middle and high school students too, especially at schools in which students do not have as much Internet access.

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