Flipping The Classroom
"Flipping the classroom" refers to a new teaching strategy in which schools harness the power of the internet to switch the order of teaching and homework.
Traditionally, the teacher or professor uses class time to "teach new material" in a lecture style, then the student goes home and "reinforces" this new knowledge by working homework problems. The problem is that in hard classes such as math and science, lectures usually go way too fast for a student to both take notes and learn the material. When students sit down to do their homework that night (or more likely a week later), they have another choice to make: try to learn everything from their confusing notes and even more confusing book, or just half-ass their homework and plan on cramming for the test. Guess which method 95% of students select.
Flipping the classroom changes all that. The student watches the lecture on video before class, then the teacher can use class time to do more examples and help students one-on-one. Video lectures are great for students because they can pause and rewind, thus learning at their own pace. And the video lectures should theoretically be better than live lectures: 1) the teacher has more time to prep and deliver the best lecture possible, and 2) every student has a front-row seat with great sound and picture.
That all sounds great in theory.
But it turns out that making high quality, engaging videos is very difficult.
First comes the technical challenge. Low-quality video of a teacher standing in front of a white board with her back to the camera is even more boring on camera than it is in the classroom. Schools can invest in a higher-tech setup like we use at ThatTutorGuy.com, but then someone has to learn how to use the tech and edit the videos, and teachers have to learn how to use it. It takes a long time to master, and video techs must be hired to have any chance of success.
Khan Academy is an organization that's in the news a lot for providing the videos that schools are using. But have you ever sat down and watched a few of his videos? He's just not very good at explaining stuff to normal kids. Sure, someone who is already doing well in algebra might get a deeper understanding from Khan's theory-based approach. But what most students need is help getting from "lost" to "proficient". That's why students love ThatTutorGuy's videos. Chris has been explaining these concepts one-on-one to normal students for a long time, so whether it's algebra or Calculus, Chris has practice and it shows.