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A flipped classroom is, in short, a style of class that involves students learning at home and doing work in the classroom. This way instead of students struggling to do homework when the teacher is not around to ask questions the students is able to ask right away and not be confused about their work. It’s a pretty  cool concept but there’s a lot that needs to be done before a classroom attempting to flip can be fully successful.

Simple tools like Powerpoint aren’t effective enough to use in a flipped classroom. Students don’t want to sit at home and click through some slides, they would probably pay very little attention if they even open it. So a flipped classroom requires something a bit more engaging or at the very least more interesting. Using a tool like Screencastify to record yourself teaching a lesson is super quick and adds more to the at home lesson. While it’s still a bit dull for your students to watch a video of you teaching the information on the Powerpoint it at least allows you to teach more information and show students other things. Additionally you could use the tool to record yourself working through some math problems, to show examples of grammatical errors and explain them, or balance chemical reactions. Screencastify allows you to upload the recording directly to Google Drive too, which means its easy to share with students. It’s a simple tool but something like this is necessary to teach students while they are at home.

Simply recording your screen isn’t always enough though. Utilizing a documents camera or a camera and tripod to get more into the “ninty-gritty” with your students is important. With a document camera you can take notes along with your students, walk through difficult problems with them, or point out areas in the textbook that are important. Being able to record yourself with a camera and tripod, or even just a webcam lets you talk directly to your students. You could have a projector behind you or be demonstrating something important. As a science teacher you could hold up a model of a brain and point to the structures, show examples of chemical reactions, or even just wear a funky lab outfit to make things more entertaining. While a lot of these could be done with online tools you’d want to mix things up. If you want your students to go home each night and learn your lesson then you have to keep them engaged, they won’t do that if you screencast every time or only use the document camera.

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