To help overcome any technology fears, teachers can look to other colleagues and educators who have personal experience flipping the classroom for help and advice.
“If teachers are uncomfortable [with the technology], find someone who is comfortable and spend an hour with them,” says Alison Murray, a science teacher at Central Falls High School in Central Falls, Rhode Island, who has flipped her classrooms. “That’s what I do here, I spend time with other teachers and get them used to it.”
Furthermore, teachers looking to transition to the flipped classroom can also sit in on other teachers’ flipped classrooms to experience firsthand what it is like to guide students through discussions and activities, rather than through direct instruction.
“Find a way to get yourself into someone’s flipped classroom. There are always great schools and great classrooms out there in everyone’s community. I think that’s super valuable,” says Barkley.
In addition to reaching out to teachers in the community for assistance, leaders of the flipped classroom should also involve other members of the community to find support for both themselves and their students.
Communicate Your Goals
Technology initiatives are most successful when schools receive buy-in from not only their students and teachers, but also parents and other key stakeholders.
Teachers looking to flip their classrooms need to communicate what their goals are in transitioning to a flipped classroom, and what parents and members of the community can do to help make the transition smooth and successful.
“Teachers need to ask themselves, ‘Am I talking to my parents about this? Am I updating them on where we are on the path to making this happen?'” says Barkley. Because students are receiving instruction and learning new concepts at home, it is important parents understand the structure of the flipped model on the same level as teachers and students. Having a strong understanding of how their child is learning can help parents not only support their child throughout the learning process but also help them communicate better with teachers as to how their child is learning at home.
Furthermore, communicating the right message to parents is key to gaining their support for the flipped classroom.
“You really want to make sure that the language around this transition is that [the flipped classroom] is research proven, it has been done in a lot of classrooms, and it will allow your kids to learn better and learn more skills, rather than saying that you’re completely throwing everything out and starting with something new,” says Barkley.
Barkley also adds that involving students in the transition can help teachers leverage new ideas for instruction and learning, and also help to continue to update parents and the community.