Infrastructure of What Is - Flipped Classroom Controversy - Tired and Old

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A colleague recently shared the following link to Chris Lehman's take on the Flipped Classroom, only to discover that it wasn't that Chris Lehmann from the Science Leadership Academy and Practical Theory blog.

Christopher Lehman ( takes umbrage at the following remark by Google CEO, Eric S.:
@EricSchmidt: Innovation never comes from the established institutions. It’s always a graduate students or a crazy person or somebody with a great vision. Sal is that person in education in my view. He built a platform. If that platform works it could completely change education in America.
I watched the video in question and didn't find that quote objectionable. Does that make me a sub-standard educator? I believe people get stuck in ruts, and educators can find themselves welded into the infrastructure of status quo.

Read Chris Lehmann (Practical Theory Blog and Science Leadership Academy) on Khan Academy:

It is my hope that tools like Khan Academy will help empower more and more students to understand that the tools are out there to teach themselves, but all of us have the moments where we need others to help us learn. If it accomplishes that, then Khan Academy will have done an incredible service in transforming education.

But let's never forget that -- even in the best case scenario -- once kids have learned the mechanics of the math that Khan explains, then they have to figure out how, when and why to use the math they learn. And I feel like Khan Academy does little to move us closer to that. For that, most kids will still - and always - need people (adults, fellow students, whomever) who will spend the time to help them make sense of their world.

That's a fascinating point of view. Khan's videos only introduce one to the mechanics of math, while teaching is necessary to get at the how, when and why of what they are learning. It would be foolish to imagine that Khan's videos alone could get the job done, unless the mechanics of learning are what schools today are about.

Dr. Mazur's work certainly is worth watching, as well as November Learning's discussion a companion work on the subject...Consider Dr. Eric Mazur on the Flipped Classroom and what it is:

Dr. Mazur has a video describing his integrated Flipped Learning and Peer Instruction methods, but the major points are:
  • Students prepare for class by watching video, listening to podcasts, reading articles, or contemplating questions that access their prior knowledge.
  • After accessing this content, students are asked to reflect upon what they have learned and organize questions and areas of confusion.
  • Students then log in to a Facebook-like social tool, where they post their questions.
  • The instructor sorts through these questions prior to class, organizes them, and develops class material and scenarios that address the various areas of confusion. The instructor does not prepare to teach material that the class already understands.
  • In class, the instructor uses a Socratic method of teaching, where questions and problems are posed and students work together to answer the questions or solve the problems. The role of the instructor is to listen to conversations and engage with individuals and groups as needed.
There are lots of possibilities. . . .

Arguing that Khan Academy is valuable or not is like arguing about whether the iPad is a solution that works in K-12 use a familiar cliche, "that ship has sailed."

The question is the same one Tom Snyder once asked back --and this is a paraphrase--in the 1980s..."If we can't keep technologies out of our schools because of the financial interests that back them, how can we better ensure their use in the classroom?"

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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