How about flipping the school instead?

How about flipping the school instead?

The idea of flipping the classroom, albeit new, has become a somewhat cliched concept already. Teachers talk about how the classroom can be radically changed by using the internet to change the way we teach. I’m not deriding this methodology. In fact, I agree it has its merits – in that it illustrates education’s willingness to change. 

However the entrenched problem of the system itself still remains. Why are children sitting in a classroom, isolated from each other by computer screens? They are learning but what’s the point of traveling all the way to school to get on the internet? 

While some would say that the 1-on-1 tutoring and contact with the teacher is the key ingredient, it doesn’t really answer the question. Students can get that assistance in other ways, such as by a teacher on a webcam (perhaps using Google hangouts). The teacher could use a shared drawing space app to draw and write problems which the student could see while listening to the teacher’s explanation. The teacher could also refer the student to a different instructional video. Another approach would be to have students conference together and explain to each other. Or just use a dedicated forum to ask for help. The student, as well as learning about a math problem, could be learning online interaction skills and research skills while they find the answer to the problem.

Finally, the student could also be getting help from their *gasp* parents in finding ways to solve problems or answer questions they don’t understand.

Flipping the classroom is great … but it’s still a classroom. Technology has always been shoehorned into schools for more political benefit than educational benefit. Kids are learning more online away from classrooms (and away from formal education) than ever. Teachers should not be instructors. They should become a guide, a sounding board or even a safety net for when students need a boost.

Flip the education system. Remove the classroom from the picture and see how quickly kids adapt to an education that they control.

The rise of social learning …


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