Wednesday, December 5, 2012


   This year has marked several changes to MHS and the way things are taught. 
   Math teacher Nikki Manion and history teacher Jesse Burgess have jumped on board a new trend that is sweeping through the education system. Known as flipped classrooms, teachers give the notes at home through video tutorials and spend class time helping students with their homework.
   “I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Manion said. “I’ve read a lot about flipped classes and how some colleges and high schools were already using this technique to have students be more involved in their learning.”
    Statistically, other teachers have claimed that their students perform better with this form of teaching and that they prefer flipped classes to regular classes. Manion was not able to spend enough time on the flipped class schedule to get any conclusive data.
   “I do not have a lot of data [to say whether it is better or not],” Manion said. “I do know that the students who watched the lesson videos were better prepared.”
   Burgess on the other hand has found that his students have in fact performed better under this system.
   “The data suggests flipping classrooms enhances student performance,” Burgess said.
   Burgess first heard about flipped classrooms three years ago and was intrigued by the idea. Since implementing this system, he has enjoyed providing a more interactive class.
   “I liked the flipped classrooms, because I could ask questions on the homework during class,” junior Sloan Schafer said.
   However, some students feel that the flipped classes did not work.
   Many students who were part of the flipped classes experiment feel that it was difficult to take the notes, and that focusing on the notes was difficult because of the background commotion in the video lessons.
   The flipped classroom system puts a lot of responsibility on the students. If the students don’t have the time to watch the notes come to school unprepared and can easily fall behind on the lessons. Also, not all students have access to computers at home, and flipped classrooms put these students at a disadvantage because they can’t view the video tutorials.
   Flipped classes have their strengths and weaknesses, so perhaps the best method is a mixture of the two.
   Posting the notes online for those who need to look over them again while doing homework and teaching the material in class provides a happy medium that incorporates technology for the students who have access to it while also providing the lessons to the students who don’t have the time or resources to view the material.