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Childhood in the digital age
Childhood in the digital age

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1.1 Flipped classrooms

A flipped classroom sounds odd, doesn’t it? But it’s a popular teaching method in many US and increasingly UK classrooms.

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There are various views of what flipped classroom and flipped learning mean for schools and teachers, but essentially they refer to turning the traditional classroom model on its head, as shown in the animation above.

A powerful concept is that teachers don’t have to spend precious classroom time on explaining basic concepts; in a traditional class they can’t focus on specific problems or address the needs of their individual students. The flipped classroom model clearly aims to maximise the time teachers have available for each student and often implies a turn towards technology-enabled teaching methods.

Central to this idea is the focus on giving children more autonomy in their learning and promoting ‘personalised learning’, in contrast to a more traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach. This personalised learning vision has resonance with what you learned in Week 1, especially around self-determination theory. As you saw there, this theory supports the role of intrinsic motivation and emphasises the importance of giving children autonomy, sometimes within boundaries, to make choices in their own learning (Deci and Ryan, 2000).

As you consider the link between motivation and the flipped classroom model, ask yourself: is technology essential to the flipped classroom model? Why do you think so?