"Yeah yeah, you look at the material the night before and then you do something interactive with it in the next class. We do that in my nursing program. Why do you guys need three days to talk about that?"
I really did not have a good answer for her and as I spent the next three days sitting through sessions, I often asked myself the same question. In fact, I have an admission to make. Its one that I know I am not supposed to make as a 21st century teacher, connected educator, edtech guy...whatever we call ourselves. But here goes:
I still do not get why flipped learning is a thing.
My theory is that flipped learning is more of the reflection of the natural growth that individual teachers make as they progress through their careers. I recall spending much of my first year teaching giving notes and worthless homework assignments. I did not know any better. I was very proud of myself when I came back the next year and did not spend a single minute of class on notes. We did a lot of group work, projects, and simulations. I often gave homework assignments that required students to read some background information or develop a character for what we were going to do in class. The class was lively, students were learning, and I quickly became a respected teacher.
When I look back on that second year I suppose it could have been called flipped learning. The homework was preparing them for the class activities but I certainly was not making videos and asking students to use the internet at home was still a losing proposition in many cases. Thinking back on many of my favorite classes I realize that many of them shared that structure long before the flipped movement. Having students come to class prepared to use that class time most effectively is always a sound instructional strategy no matter what we call it.
I do not think the flipped movement is a bad. If teachers are getting hooked on the philosophy of it and becoming better teachers because of it then it is great. I enjoyed spending a few days talking about teaching with a group of my colleagues but three days discussing what should be a simple premise was more than enough. If calling yourself a flipper makes you a better teacher than do it. I probably won't be with you at FlipCon16 though.