Tools for Flipping Your Classroom
Flipping your classroom doesn’t have to mean flipping your lid…not when you have the resources and strategies that you will explore today.
How would you respond to Rachel?
This is Rachel from Jeremiah Middle School in a large urban school district in San Antonio, an admirer of your mad tech skills. Here’s the scoop:
I am in need of a quick and fast mini-lesson on the topic of “flipped lessons.” The teachers are now being asked to compose several flipped lessons for the upcoming year. If you can tell me what information I may be able to instruct the staff on, it would be greatly appreciated.
What Happens in a Flipped Learning classroom?
In a typical flipped classroom, students listen to pre-recorded video lectures before class and perform other learning activities in class. In this flipped structure, students are exposed to material before class via videos and readings, and they attain deeper knowledge in class via activities.
- Students may think online means working only from home.
- Students may be reluctant to take responsibility for their learning.
- Students may lack time management skills.
- Technology can become an obstacle for some students.
- Students may watch videos or content, but not be sure how to share what they have learned.
- Manage student expectations by explaining what you expect them to do at home and in class.
- Explain early and often what is expected and how it is beneficial to them.
- Provide time for completion, and divide work into bite-sized modules.
- Avoid high-risk technologies.
- Create web-based quizzes that work across multiple devices, as well as graphic organizers that can be filled out.
Overcoming Technical Obstacles
1) Show teachers how to storyboard their content first, then create a video about their lesson with the tools on hand. All the tools are free to get started.
2) Keep videos short, 2-3 minutes or 5-10 minutes max (shorter is better). You can always create more videos. Think “bite-sized chunks” that students can nibble on their way to/from school, sitting somewhere waiting for an adult to do something, or during the gap in a basketball game on television or in person.
3) Plan for intensive classroom activities
Don’t be surprised if part of your class needs to watch the video in class (set up a pod of computers or devices where that can happen) while the rest of the students wrestle with a real life application of the flipped learning.
Chromebook or Chrome-friendly Tools
Windows/Mac Tools that may require installation or Java:
- Apowersoft Free Online Recorder (Free for limited use)
- CaptureCast (Free unlimited) in Chrome browser
- Ezvid for Windows (Free unlimited) - Tutorial - RECOMMENDED
- Nimbus Screencast (Free unlimited) in Chrome browser- RECOMMENDED
- Screencast-o-matic (Free 15 min recording or $18 for pro version annually...Chrome version in beta)
- Screencastify (Free with watermark and 10 min limit or $20 unlimited sans watermark) in Chrome browser- RECOMMENDED
- TinyTake for Windows (unlimited recording)
iOS/Android Device + Computer
iOS/Android: Reflector 2 app + one of the solutions shown below.
- Explain Everything Interactive Whiteboard. This is my must-have app on iOS devices. There is so much you can do with the app, yet it has a deceptively simple starting point for those unfamiliar. You can find tons of tutorials online. This app is available for Chromebooks, too. A different version of Explain Everything, known as the Collaborative Whiteboard, offers hosting for videos at a price.
- Touchcast. This free app makes green screen, flipped learning, video newsletters so easy. While it may be initially complex because of all the options, I have no doubt a short session and time spent watching others use it will get you ready to create flipped learning for your students. It is well worth learning all the bells and whistles in this app. Ample tutorials are available.
- Educreations. This free app has long been on the preferred list for teachers and students. Not only is it easy (view tutorial), but it solves the problem that many educators don’t want to deal with in their particular district: where to host the video created. Educreations will host content, of course, offering additional features at a price.
For Android only, try AZScreenRecorder
More Tools for Your Consideration
- YouTube Editor – Record and edit right within YouTube. You can add simple transitions, background audio (already curated for you), and even intros and outros…if you want to get fancy. When you are done, you can save it to your YouTube account and share it as needed. [Tutorial Video]
- Screencast-o-matic – This handy utility is great for creating simple screencasts. You have the option to screencast from a web-based tool or download a small utility file that runs on your computer. [Tutorial Videos]
- TubeChop – If you just want your students to watch a video but want to trim it to a specific section, TubeChop is your answer. Once you “chop” the video, you’ll get a TubeChop URL to share with your students. [Tutorial Video]
- Movenote EDU – Get fancy when flipping your lesson by creating your own picture-in-picture video that allows you to show images, MS Office files, and PDFs. Once shared, the students can watch and download all the documents as a single PDF. [Tutorial Video]
- Renderforest – Make your introductory videos look even more professional with this free resource. Registration is required.
Tips for Working with Video
Tip #1: Export to MP4 Video Format
Choose a screencasting tool that allows you to export directly to MP4 video format. This is the most commonly used video format and works with all devices. Anything else will just result in headaches.
Screencastify, TechSmith’s SnagIt/Camtasia, ExplainEverything, and Touchcast allow you to do this without much fuss.
Tip #2: WebM is a "New" Video Format
The new HTML5 friendly video format is also known as WebM and you may need to convert from that format to MP4 to easily share the file with others.
Nimbus Screencast and Screencastify are both Chromebook apps that will save to WebM.
You may need to rely on a web-based video converter to get these videos to MP4 format, depending on where you host them. YouTube, though, will accept WebM format.
Check out available video conversion tools.
Assessing Flipped Videos
Here are some strategies for facilitating assessment:
- Mix in a Google Sheet Reflection with a Flubaroo feedback form that triggers when they submit something,
- Use an Excel Online Survey form that allows them to submit their reflections, or
- Have them create something online, anywhere.
- Create content in a OneNote page to create a virtual “closed space” or an open one, depending on what the culture of your teaching and learning environment.
- Capture student reflections via Vocaroo audio file they can send you the link to or
- Post a video reflection on YouTube
Other Assessment Tools (many more here you can adapt)
- ed.ted.com: Grab any video on YouTube and deliver it in a private mode to whomever you choose. Create a quiz, supporting links, and “dig deeper” content that you can associate with the video (you can review the responses online).
- EdPuzzle.com: Check out the website to see all the options you have with videos you can create. Pull from a variety of video sources and create interaction throughout your video…or copy lessons that other EdPuzzle users have created and tweak to meet your students’ needs. [Tutorial Videos]
- VideoNot.es: This tool is great for secondary students! Create a file that has the YouTube video on the left-hand side and a simple notetaking section on the right-hand side. Students take notes while they watch the video…and it even syncs their notes to the location of the video at the time of typing! And, it connects with Google Drive making their work shareable. [Tutorial Video]
- TurboNote: Allows you to take notes off to the side of the video.
- Vialogues, not unlike Flipgrid, allows you to create conversations that revolve around a video.
- Tackk: Post an image, video, or other content. You can add text, ask questions.
- Flipgrid.com and Swivl’s Recap : These tools allow students to watch a short video (e.g. 3 minutes in the paid version of Flipgrid) then post their own response or short screencast.
Flipped learning reflections can empower students to become consumers and creators of academic content.
One of the most important benefits of flipping your classroom is the additional time it gives you to engage with your students.
They thrive on this time and your attention. This is such an exciting opportunity for both you and your students.
The training and certification program was developed to provide the basic knowledge required to successfully implement the flipped classroom model to enhance personalized and differentiated teaching and learning.
The Level-I certification program includes nine (9) units, takes 7-10 hours to complete and covers these essential topics