e recently gave you a tour into Don Domes’s classroom at Hillsboro High School, and we talked about how he’s working to flip his classroom–assigning lectures as homework, giving him time to help his students with their assignments, in class.
Not every school has a program like this, unfortunately. And a lot of schools can’t convert because they don’t have the resources to design and build the program themselves.
So what if the resources were available online? What if there was a repository for lectures which teachers could assign for homework, so you could spend your class time asking tough questions to an expert–rather than asking your parents, checking Wikipedia, or just googling your questions?
We’ve seen this before with Khan Academy, which we think is great. Mr. Domes also uploads his lecture videos onto his Vimeo channel.
To give you an idea of how it’s set up, check out one lecture of theirs which we really liked. It’s about the size of atoms. Video below.
Be sure to check out the actual lecture page, too.
Here’s what we like about the lecture page (which we linked to in the video caption):
- Every lecture has a nice, catchy animation which illustrates the content.
- There are Quick Quizzes which check just how much straight info you pulled from the lecture.
- The “Think” questions actually have you do additional research, and are questions which basically see if you can play with the lecture concepts. Good if it’s a lecture you were interested in.
- The “Dig Deeper” tab has creator-recommended links for additional reading, if you really like the lecture and want to become an expert.
But of course there are some drawbacks. If you’re willing to work with them, TED-Ed is a great resource. Here are our criticisms.
- Answering the questions and flipping a video require a registered account. This actually isn’t so bad, since it’s made for students who need to see their teacher’s flipped lessons and save their answers–but it’s kind of a bother if you want to browse just for fun. Registering is free and pretty easy, though.
- Some of the lectures are short. Also kind of a plus, because you’re not going to fall asleep. But it also means the lectures themselves don’t get very in depth.
- In a search, you can’t view lectures by creator. This is really inconvenient if you’re looking for the videos your teacher made, or if you’re looking for a specific one.
But here’s what we like the best. Anyone can contribute. If you have any skills with flash animation, you could team up with your teacher while he or she gives a lecture on anything. Shakespeare, geography or, of course, engineering. And you could animate your teacher’s lecture, upload it to YouTube, and become a contributor. Doing that could help your teacher invert their classroom for the future, and will also help other schools by giving them the resources they need to flip their own classrooms.
Here’s what we want. You check out TED-Ed a little more, find a couple lectures you like, and show those to your science and engineering teachers. Tell your teachers that you want them to become contributors, and tell them about the wonders of the inverted classroom.
- Check out this other lecture on symbiosis. Short and to the point.